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Turkish Ambassador Pays Follow-up visit to IGP on PIKM Regulation

Turkish Ambassador Pays Follow-up visit to IGP on PIKM Regulation By Kembay Police Headquarters George Street Freetown, Wednesday 28th February, 2024 Her Excellency the Turkish Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Madam Sibel Erkan has visited the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mr. William Fayia Sellu to know the SLP stands on the Police Coordination and Cooperation Center (PIKM), ahead of the 5-6 May and 15-17 July, 2024 OIC meetings in Banju and Yaounde respectively.  In her presentations, Her Excellency Madam Erkan discloses that, her visit was to know if the SLP is interested in being part of the Police Coordination and Cooperation Center (PIKM) establishment following the 13th Summit  heads of States and Government of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The PIKM she went on to explained would be established to combat terrorism, extremism, organised crime and to strengthen capacities of PIKM members states.  "For the Center to become op

How did EBK help to the construction of the Magbele Bridge?

Let me be clear about something. Nobody denies that former President Koroma initiated the construction of the Adikali Madu Bridge, formerly known as the Magbele Bridge.

But first, let's look at what transpired.

The European Union is working on an initiative to improve access to West African countries. And the European Union has been a partner to West African states for over 40 years, and the European Union is West Africa's largest trading partner, supporting the region in a variety of ways with the goal of improving people's living conditions and ensuring long-term development.

Despite the fact that West Africa's global trade has more than tripled in the last decade, and the integrated West African economy is estimated to be worth more than €1 trillion in commerce, industry, agriculture, services, and other sectors, serious development challenges such as peace and security, a growing young population in desperate need of new economic opportunities, and migration within the region and to neighboring regions remain.

The European Union agreed to step in to help in these sectors in order to keep West African countries' economies growing. 

The EU had the following strategic objectives for the region.

  • Peace, security, and regional stability must be established.
  • Regional economic integration, trade, and the private sector are all being promoted.
  • Food and nutritional security resilience building
  • Preserving natural resources and encouraging the use of renewable energy
The EU established a Regional Indicative Program (RIP) under its Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF), and the existing initiatives that were to be addressed urgently are;
  • Cross-border crime, human trafficking, terrorism, and violent extremism must all be addressed.
  • Support the private sector and infrastructural development, as well as trade facilitation.
  • Combat trade restrictions
  • Manage regional public goods and increase food and nutrition security resilience
  • Maintain and improve biodiversity, natural resource governance, and forest and water resource management
  • Lessen the region's climate and environmental vulnerability
The EU has a National Indicative Program for each of the West African countries, and among of the projects supported under this program in Sierra Leone are the Bo-Bandajuma to Liberia Border Road, which was signed in 2016, the Moyamba Junction to Moyamba Town Road, and the Magbele Bridge.

To summarize, most of these activities should have started during the APC government, and some did, but the EU delayed the funds due to the extent of corruption discovered in the EBK's administration.

When the Magbele Bridge was awarded illegally to a substandard company called MSF Engegneria in 2015, the EU project inspection team visited the scene and noticed that the said company was not up to the task. After the feedback was sent to the EU, the funding was withheld until the SLPP arrived, and President Bio had to lobbie hard to convince the EU to resume funding the project.

Because of a lack of funds, the company that the APC granted the contract had to stopped operating before 2017.

The SLPP government was ultimately able to persuade the EU to resume funding for the Magbele bridge, and real work on the bridge began in 2018 under President Bio's leadership and completed this year, 2022.

So, if someone claims that Former President Koroma launched the project, that is correct; however, he awarded the contract to a mushroom company for a kickback, and the EU ceased supporting the project as a result.

The New Direction Government built the Bo-Bandajuma to Liberia border route, the Moyamba junction to Moyamba road, the Gbangbama Moyamba Bridge, the Mabang bridge, and the Magbele in just four years.


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