The Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization Kandeh Yumkella has cautioned government to seriously consider the developmental impact of the Tripartite Investment Programme as to how the nation can afford to tackle all three projects.
He was making his point at the end of the two days conference on the Tripartite Investment program held at the Country Lodge Hotel which he facilitated.
He said, government should ensure that any deal made for the construction of the Lungi Bridge, new city and modernize Airport should not saddle future generations of debt burdens and does not lock -in mortgage the natural resources of the country at the detriment of the future generation.
He implored the government in setting up a transparent governance structure for the whole programme.
Dr. Yumkella also encouraged the government to pursue a broad based and inclusive dialogue on the vision of the Tripartite Investment Programme including involvement of qualified Sierra Leoneans in the Diaspora who have proven expertise and experience in the design and execution of such projects.
He further stated that there is also need for information sharing with the public to ensure a transparent process of selecting foreign partners under a framework based on international standards.
He further stated that stakeholders should undertake in-depth studies and analysis of various alternative engineering solutions and associated costs through the development of an over- arching strategic plan accompanied by feasibility studies for each project.
He also noted that the government should assess the economic and commercial viability of the projects taken adequate consideration of the economic, social, political and environmental impact of the Tripartite Investment programme and its constituent projects.
Concluding Dr. Yumkella said based on the presentations of the invited potential investors it was agreed that a public private partnership frame work will be needed to attract potential investors, so as to address the cost of the preliminary stage of major infrastructure project and how to finance to them.
By Saidu Bah