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Sierra Leone switch plans from China funded airport project.

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Sierra Leone has cancelled a $400m (£304m) Chinese-funded project to build a new airport outside the capital Freetown.



Former President Ernest Bai Koroma signed the loan agreement with China before he lost elections in March.

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At the time, the World Bank and the IMF warned that the project would impose a heavy debt burden.

The decision comes amid concern that many African countries risk defaulting on their debts to China.

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Aviation Minister Kabineh Kallon said that the project, which was due to have been completed in 2022, wasn’t necessary and its current international airport would be renovated instead.

He said the current president, Julius Maada Bio, “didn’t see any need for Mamamah [the proposed airport]” and was considering building a bridge from the capital to Lungi airport – the only international airport in the country. Currently passengers need to get a boat or helicopter to reach Freetown.

Kallon said he did not know whether the cancelled contract would lead to financial implications, and Sierra Leone remained on good terms with China.

“As [a] sovereign state, I do have the right to take the best decision for the country,” he .

China is now the single largest bilateral financier of infrastructure in Africa – surpassing the African Development Bank (ADB), the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank and the Group of eight (G8) countries combined.

Critics say China is luring countries into debt traps by lending them money for massive infrastructure projects.

In August, 16 American senators voiced their concern about “predatory Chinese infrastructure lending” in a letter to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Zambia’s government has had to publicly deny reports China could seize some of its parastatal companies if it defaulted on loan repayments.

But China has denied claims that it is leading countries into a debt trap.

“If we take a closer look at these African countries that are heavily in debt, China is not their main creditor,” China’s special envoy for Africa, Xu Jinghu, told a news conference in September, Reuters reports.

“It’s senseless and baseless to shift the blame onto China for debt problems.”

Some Africans are also wary of the high levels of debt being built up and say the costs of some projects have been inflated by corruption, while others welcome China’s involvement, saying that the roads, ports, railways and other projects are badly needed.

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Motherland News

CAF Sidelines Nigerian Centre Referees for 2019 AFCON

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Out of the Twenty-seven centre referees penciled down for the 2019 African Cup of Nations, countries like Burundi, Mali, Zambia and Sudan are represented on the list, but no Nigerian referee was selected for the big occasions.

However, only one assistant referee from Nigeria named Baba Adel was listed among the twenty-nine assistant referees selected by the African Football Governing Body.

The competition will be held from 21 June to 19 July 2019, as per the decision of the CAF Executive Committee on 20 July 2017.

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Motherland News

Nigerian Govt Seeks U.S.$1 Billion Loan for Power Sector Again.

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Apart from the accumulation of 2.74 trillion Naira the Nigerian government under the watch of President Olusegun Obasanjo, President Umar Yaradua and Goodluck Jonathan have differently spent on the development of the Power sector, Federal government have commenced discussion with the World Bank with the hope of taking a $1 billion loan.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed made this disclosure at the press briefing marking the end of the 2019 Spring Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, IMF, in Washington DC, USA, yesterday.

Meanwhile, The Federal Government have allegedly spent another 900 billion Naira within the last four years through the ministry of Power and Steel, under the watch of Babatunde Fashola.

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