By Lansana Fofanah.
The outgoing President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma yesterday commissioned the construction of a new International Airport at Mamamah, Koya City, outside Freetown.
Delivering his keynote address, President Koroma said that few days to the end of his tenure, he felt honored to commission one of his dream projects that will foster transformation and development in the country even when he is gone.
He said that for any leader to succeed in transforming Sierra Leone, a firm and bold decision should be taken such as this project.
President Koroma said that, the new airport will feature a state of the arts facilities, the creation of Koya City where a new State House, Judiciary, Parliament building and housing facilities will be created to host Parliamentarians. “We should think and act big…Lungi is not going to be abandoned. We have special purpose for that airport. The Lungi Bridge is going to be constructed as soon as possible by my successor.
President Koroma commended local authorities that gave up their lands and willingly accept relocation for the sake of development.
He appreciated the Chinese government for providing such a huge loan to create a modern international airport that will boost the tourist industry of the country.
The Chinese Ambassador Wu Peng said that, the Mamamah Airport is beyond an airport purpose as this will create more investment opportunities in the country. He said that the interest rate on the US$318M will be paid by the government of China.
He pledged his country’s commitment towards any developmental project in Sierra Leone.
The Minister of Transport and Aviation, Balogun Logus Koroma said that the Mamamah Airport creation will only be compared to the history of Sierra Leone’s Independent history in 1961.
He said that 21,000 acres of land will be used which will see the creation of a 3,500 meter runway at Mamamah.