The Management of Sierra Leone Ports Authority (SLPA) has called on the Government through the Ministry of Finance to look at the possibility of releasing Fifty percent of funds from the Annual Concession fees paid by Port Private Operators to be paid to the Authority to carry out major infrastructural projects and thereby meet the expectations of the Government agenda for a transformed Port.
The Ag. General Manager Mr. Yankuba Askia Bio made this plea during the Authority’s 2020 budget presentation to the Ministry of Finance at the presence of non-states actors and other Civil Society groups at room 3 at the Miatta Conference last Saturday.
The Acting GM’s presentation featured pictorial slides of major port facilities including the Ferry Terminals, the berths at the Freetown Port, the Kissy Oil Jetty, Huge capital-intensive projects and other major infrastructure which are ruined due to age and badly in need of maintenance.
Mr. Bio, during his presentation pleaded with the Government on behalf of the Authority for the release of funds to address the challenges on maintenance on port facilities.
“These challenges involve huge finances. The Port management cannot finance these projects, and we are therefore calling on the Government through the Ministry of Finance to look at the possibility of releasing fifty (50%) percent of funds from concession fees paid by Port private operators (Concessionaires) to the SLPA”.
The budget showcased the institutional profile and area of control, the Authority’s contributions to the consolidated funds, expenditure, sources of revenue, projected statement of cash flow, projected statement of financial position, summary of capital investment and challenges.
The budget was designed to promote the corporate image of the Port and ensure that it can be compared to other ports around the world; increase revenue generation in Ports operations; eliminate micro and macro wastages and leakages in managing the Ports; improve customer service delivery in Ports operations; and develop Ports infrastructure and build capacity of staff.
On its contribution to the consolidated fund, the Authority continues to meet its responsibilities of contributing Le 70bn annually from concession fees and royalties from private Port operators to the Government. Additionally, government has 20% shares in the operations of Freetown Terminal Limited (FTL), the Chief Accountant Mr. Malcolm Leigh noted.
According to the revenue figures for 2020, the authority will source its funds from Marine Services, Stevedore (Liquid Bulk), Container Terminal, Break Bulk and Marine Slipway Throughput Fees.
The Budget hearing Technical Committee, CSOs and other non-state actors commended the management of SLPA for its presentation and promised to make a follow-up on their appeal for Government’s attention on major capital-intensive maintenance on Port facilities.