The Office of the Presidential Infrastructure Initiative (OPII) was created in 2018 to be the Government’s centre of expertise and to Iead transformational infrastructure development in Sierra Leone. Our work includes meeting our transformational infrastructure development needs, the coordination of infrastructure development across silos (across all sectors), enabling cost-effective, functional and efficiently maintained infrastructure, as well as making our infrastructure facilities, systems and services, including our streets and highways, safe and accessible to all. Essentially, we are modernizing and streamlining the way that infrastructure is planned, procured, delivered, managed and maintained in Sierra Leone.
In just over one year of existence, OPII’s achievements in infrastructure development and service delivery clearly underscore the value of our office.
We have created cost savings for the Government;
- Through the construction of the second Juba Bridge (the Sengbeh Pieh Bridge) and the review/redesign of the Lumley -Tokeh Road alone, OPII saved the Government of Sierra Leone over $9 million.
- By conducting the Phase I Feasibility Study for the Lungi Bridge, OPII saved the Government over $4 million. Typically a study of this nature would cost at least $5 million using international consultants and would have taken a minimum of 8-12 months. OPII was able to do it for under $1.4 million, and took only four months to complete the work.
- The initial feasibility studies for the Bonthe Seaport, Bonthe Special Economic Zone and the Bonthe Industrial Zone, conducted by the Stronghold Global Finance Group on behalf of the OPII have saved the Government of Sierra Leone over $10 million.
Based on the above, OPII in one year of existence, has saved the Government of Sierra Leone over $23 million in conducting critical feasibility studies and design reviews. This amount does not include the time-savings in conducting these studies which could easily bring this amount to an excess of $35 million (if the time savings were to be quantified).
In addition to the above, OPII has provided critical professional advice to MDAs, as well as project management and technical leadership for several projects. If these services were supplied by local or international consultants, the costs to Government would be considerable. It is therefore safe to say that in one year of its existence, based on its activities, OPII has saved the Government close to $50 million.
We Have Improved Service Delivery
Project delays increase costs, cause frustration and inconvenience to the local population, contractors and the contracting authority and limit productivity. However, the complexity of construction projects and the high level of coordination of permissions, workers, goods and suppliers means that delays are common. OPII’s coordinating role in the Limkokwing University to Regent Road, is an example of how OPII’s professional construction management and monitoring services can support MDAs to keep major projects on schedule.
Site selection is a critical step when embarking on the construction of new heaIth facilities and has a significant impact on the success of the resulting facility. Factors include the size and cost of the land, its accessibility, proximity to other heaIth care facilities and utilities, how quickly it can be developed and whether there is flexibility for expansion. By conducting a comprehensive assessment for the construction of a new Diagnostic and Cancer Treatment Centre, OPII has supported the Ministry of HeaIth and Sanitation in identifying the necessary criteria for an appropriate site.
The following section highlights further examples demonstrating how OPII’s work has created cost and service delivery efficiencies during its first year of existence.
INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS AND ACTIVITIES
The Sengbeh Pieh Bridge Project (the Second Juba Bridge)
The Juba/Lumley intersection had become a serious safety hazard and a major economic setback, with travel delays amounting to hundreds of billions of Leones. On OPII’s advice, grant funding from the Chinese Government for the Lumley Market and the purchase of garbage trucks, was re-allocated for the construction, regeneration and decongestion of the Lumley/Regent Road and Juba interchange. OPII was able to convince the Sierra Leone and Chinese Governments that the construction of a second Juba Bridge was more desirable than the proposed market and recommended that the market be constructed at a later stage. OPII undertook and coordinated the entire construction of the Second Juba Bridge. This included handling community relations overseeing construction, supervision and monitoring of the project. Work on the bridge began in November 2018. It was completed at the cost of $2.4 million instead of $4.4 million and opened to traffic, five months later, on 25th April 2019 instead of 16 months as originally scheduled. This bridge has substantially reduced traffic time, improved safety and restored order to this critical transport and trade interchange.
Further regeneration of this area is underway. OPII will supervise the construction of a three-storey shopping mall and parking area in the vicinity based on designs and drawings produced by OPII, as well as the replacement at the existing market, OPII’s governance team handled all the negotiations with affected property owners in the area and major stakeholders which included supporting the Ministry of Lands and Housing to identify land for their relocation
In addition, OPII has worked with a contractor to develop designs for a vehicular fly-over in the area, starting from the Peninsula Road (In Goderich) and exiting at Wilkinson Road and Spur road respectively. In OPII’s professional opinion, the proposed fly-over will permanently resolve the traffic congestion at this interchange.
Lungi Bridge Pre-Feasibility Report
The Lungi Bridge Project is intended to address the chaIIenges of airport accessibility and the lack of a seamless transfer from the airport at Lungi to Freetown (a distance of about 8km by sea, separated by the Freetown River), which have been a major deterrent to the economic growth and development of the country since independence in 1961. Sierra Leone’s ability to attract foreign investments, promote economic activities and maximise the development of its great tourist potential is severely limited by these airport accessibility chaIIenges.
All four previous studies for the Lungi Bridge have been conducted without the input or participation of Sierra Leonean engineers or experts. Recognising the need for a home-grown feasibility study that spells out the technical and design specifications, vision, aspirations and wishes of the people of Sierra Leone and delivers value for money, the Government, through the Ministry of Finance supported a team of Sierra Leonean technical professionals, under OPII’s Ieadership to successfully conduct the Phase I Feasibility Study for the Lungi Bridge within four months.
The Phase I Feasibility Study covered aII the technical, financial and environmental aspects of the bridge including the cost and economic impact.
The following disciplines were covered: Civil, Structural and Geotechnical Engineering, Oceanographic study, Environmental Analysis, Constructability Analysis, Traffic Engineering, Economic Analysis, Cash Flow Analysis, Financial Structuring and Architectural Concepts and designs.
The study presented the estimated cost (US$1.8 Billion to US$2.1BiIIion) and construction period (4-6 years) of the 8km bridge, as well as the potential economic impact. It is important to note that this bridge will be built on a Build Operate and Transfer basis (BOT) with no financial impact on the Government’s balance sheet, is expected to pay for itself within 20 years and will create over 5000 jobs annually during the estimated construction period. The total Lungi Bridge Project benefit is estimated to be US$11.2 Billion over 25 years. In the long term, 25 years after the bridge is completed, the economy will more than double with consistent near double digit growth rate.
This Report was presented to H.E. the President, Dr. Julius Maada Bio, by OPII and the team on the 25th April 2019. The Tender process for the Lungi Bridge Pre-Feasibility Report was launched on the 16th June 2019 at State House.
Concept Development for a New Financial City at Lungi
OPII in association with its Technical and Architectural Adviser (Mr. Pierre Goudiaby of the ATEPA Group – the foremost African Architectural firm) developed a concept and site plan for a new Financial City at Lungi to support the bridge project and the new airport terminal project.
The new city will include the following: A convention centre, an administrative building, a sporting complex, an innovation centre, a five-star hotel, housing and reaI estate developments catering to different client groups, a medical centre and a business complex, amongst others.
A video presentation of this concept has been developed to better represent and articulate the thinking and vision behind it. The new city is expected to be located along the shoreline from the abutment of the Lungi Bridge encompassing an area of about 25 square Kilometres, without offsetting the mangroves and ensuring minimaI environmental impact. The overarching objective is to create a new city of the 21st century that will co-exist with the natural environment and place Sierra Leone as the key destination for business and tourism in the region and the African continent. In addition, this will help to decongest Freetown.
Development of the new Airport Terminal Design
Sierra Leone has unique geographical advantages. It offers the shortest distance between Africa and South America. It was a hub and staging area for the British Government during the Second World War and during the FaIklands War. The travel time from Sierra Leone to most European destinations is under six hours. Sierra Leone also provides a regional fit for air transport to/from West and Central Africa, as a result it could play the role of a transit hub for destinations such as South America, the Far East and China.
One of OPII’s flagship projects – the construction of a new airport terminal at Lungi is intended to maximise these geographical advantages, unlock our vast tourist potential, increase air transport services, promote the aviation industry, and most importantly establish Sierra Leone as a regional hub for both passenger and cargo traffic, taking advantage of the proposed trans-shipment industries and International Free Trade Zone to be established at Lungi, close to the airport.
Despite the relatively recent upgrade to the airport terminal, facilities are still inadequate to meet future passenger demands. Currently, total passenger throughput is about 300 000 passengers per year. A new airport terminal will both maximise the advantage of Sierra Leone’s geographic location and also upgrade our poor compliance with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) safety standards and recommended practices (SARPS) which ranked Sierra Leone 43 out of 46 African countries in its 2006 audit.
This project will include the construction of a paraIIel taxiway to the existing runway, the structural upgrading and resurfacing of the existing runway, the construction of a new Passenger terminal, the construction of a new VIP/Presidential terminal, the construction of a new Air Traffic Control Tower, the construction of a new Search and Rescue/Fire Fighting facility, the construction of a new parking lot and the upgrading of the navigational aids at the airport.
On completion, Sierra Leone will get a new airport befitting its status as a regional gateway. OPII in association with the ATEPA Group has developed the designs for thenew passenger and VIPterminals, and the Air Traffic Control Tower. Plans are at an advanced stage and it is envisaged that construction will start in the first quarter of 202
OPII Showcase at UNGA
During the United Nations General Assembly in New York, USA, OPII with the sponsorship of one of the potential investors, hosted an exclusive dinner for 20 top-Ievel investors at the Conrad Hotel to showcase the Lungi Bridge and other OPII flagship projects. The dinner was attended by H.E. the President, Dr. Julius Maada Bio and the First Lady.
The presentations were very well received and have generated great interest in the Lungi Bridge and associated projects. As a result of this presentation and dinner, the implementation of the Lungi Bridge project has been restructured as a two pronged approach: Technical and Financial, and both are moving rapidly, enhancing the confidence that the construction of the bridge will start in 2020
Request for Proposals for the New Airport Terminal and the Lungi Bridge
In accordance with the procurement requirements and policy of the National Public Procurement Public Agency (NPPA), OPII advertised for the submission of proposals for the construction of the new Airport Terminal and the Lungi Bridge on a BOT basis. The evaluations were conducted with the relevant stakeholder MDAs and representatives of the NPPA and the Senior Procurement Officer at State House. Based on the evaluations, the firms for the new airport and Lungi Bridge (technical) have been selected and negotiations have commence
New Convention Centre at Lungi
In 2018, OPII developed initial design drawings and specifications for a Convention Centre at Lungi and led renewed relations with the Indian Government which has reopened dialogue regarding finance for construction of the Centre.
New State House- Site Selection and Concept Design
OPII and the ATEPA Group have developed concept designs and site layout plans for a potential new State House at various locations.
Rail Network System for Sierra Leone
Following a meeting in Sochi, Russia, OPII is working with the Rail Standard Service Company of Russia to revive and implement a national railway network system that will connect to the West African Rail Network via Guinea and Liberia. The feasibility studies for this project are soon to commence.
Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pedestrian Safety Project
OPll conducted an investigation of traffic congestion and pedestrian safety in Freetown and has initiated a project to address the inefficient use of street spaces, design deficiencies and inadequate transportation infrastructure, which are contributing to these issues. Solutions include improving traffic management through the instaIIation and alignment of traffic signals (traffic lights) at critical intersections, the design and construction of pedestrian overpasses over critical road segments and the reconfiguration of large intersections through channelisation, using islands, road markings etc.
With finance from the International Development Project, the Government of Sierra Leone’s SmaII Commercialisation and Agribusiness Development Project is working with OPII on plans for the construction of seven bridges (each over 200m) across the country. OPII has prepared the ToR and is engaged in the selection of qualified consulting firm(s) for the preparation of conceptual design, procurement support services, monitoring and contract supervision of the seven bridges.
Feasibility Studies for: the Bonthe Seaport Project, Bonthe Special Economic Zone, and the Bonthe Industrial Zone
OPII signed an MOU with the Stronghold Global Finance Group and this Group has conducted the Initial Feasibility Study for the Next Generation Port at Manna in the Bonthe District. This study includes the port designs, investment feasibility information and services and is integrated to the industrial development in the area. The project is a visionary approach, planned with an international and export oriented vision.This study was conducted by a host of internationally renowned ports and engineering companies. The Stronghold Group has also completed the initial feasibility study for the Economic Free Trade Zone and the development and establishment of a multi -faceted asset-based logistics and industrial complex located about 30km from the seaport.
These initial feasibility studies are quite exhaustive in comparison to similar regional, continental and international seaports, free trade zones and industrial and logistics complexes. Based on these studies, OPII is in discussions with the Stronghold Group to advance these studies to feasibility and detailed designs with a view to signing a concession agreement and other relevant agreements so that construction can start as soon as possible.
PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT TO MDAS
Freetown Bridges – Condition Survey, Maintenance and Management Report
Following a condition survey and inspection of all municipal bridges in Freetown in February 2019, OPII has developed a bridge maintenance programme and management system and is working with the Road Maintenance Fund Administration to fund an ongoing maintenance programme for all the bridges. OPII is also seeking external funding for this programme.
At the request of the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Public Works and State Assets, OPII conducted a verification of work to date on the Tokeh-Lumley Road Project and reviewed the design and costs for the uncompleted section of the road. The conclusion of OPII’s review was that the costs of completion can be reduced from $28,310,072.1 to $18,626,199.40.
OPII submitted these recommendations to the Ministry of Finance. After several reviews and assessment sessions with the Sierra Leone Road Authority Engineers, the Ministry of Finance and the contractor, the final cost of the uncompleted section was reduced to approximately $23million (which includes $2.8million for the Lumley Market/Mall).
This review exercise by OPII has saved the Government approximately $7million in construction costs, thus amplifying the value addition of OPII in assisting Government to save costs and to ensure value for money in infrastructure development and implementation. OPII will coordinate the construction of the uncompleted section of this road and this has already commenced.
Limkokwing University to Regent Road
OPII was appointed as overall Coordinator for the 3.2km Limkokwing University to Regent Road rehabilitation project by His Excellency the President, Dr. Julius Maada Bio, on the 14th November 2019 to address severe project delays. OPII has developed a comprehensive Construction Management Plan to monitor and supervise the project and ensure it is completed efficiently.
As part of its coordination role, OPII together with the contractor for the road, hosted a town hall meeting (the first of its kind) at Regent. The purpose of this town hall meeting was to inform the Regent and Hill Station communities about the plans for the construction of the road, the estimated completion date and major milestones, as well as to address their concerns and expectations. OPII was instrumental in the relocation of all stockpiles of debris and construction materials along the road, and the removal of utility lines and poles that were serious safety hazards to the community. OPII was also instrumental in ensuring the implementation of a robust programme for the protection and maintenance of traffic for the duration of the construction period. This resulted in the construction of temporary rigged concrete floors during the rainy season to ensure traction and prevent vehicular accidents due to skidding. After OPII’s coordination, work on this road has since progressed efficiently and is on track for completion in 2020 as scheduled
Assessment of all Government Funded Road Projects across the Country
Building on the success of OPII in saving the Government money on construction, a joint assessment of all Government funded roads across the country is being conducted by OPII and the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA). OPII and SLRA have been working on a quality control and value-for-money assessment of all Government funded roads across the country. To date the following roads have been assessed:
• Jomo Kenyatta – Hill Cut Road
• Babadorie – Regent Road Lumley
• Minah Drive – Juba Hills
• Atlantic Beach Road – Lumley
• Cantonment – River Side Road
The objective of this exercise is to reduce costs by assessing the designs, reviewing the physical progress of the projects and prioritising the projects based on a holistic development, strategic and economic impact study of the roads. In this regard OPII and SLRA will collectively propose a recommendation of the roads that should be advanced, and those that should be re-tendered or totally revised.
Site Selection Advice to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation
OPII provided valuable site selection advice to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) and other relevant ministries, to identify an appropriate location for the construction of a Diagnostic and Cancer Treatment Centre. This included the comprehensive assessment of a number of locations. Based on OPII’s professional advice, Kerry Town has been chosen and OPII’s recommendations are with the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Environment for finalisation. OPII also joined the Minister of Health in Port Loko at a meeting to restart a new project for the construction of an Oncology and Diagnostic Centre by another investorSite Visit and Project Concept Proposals for the National University of Science and Technology at Kono.
OPII has provided professional support for the Minister of Technical and Higher Educations proposed National University of Science and Technology in Kono. OPII conducted the initial site visit, prepared the project concept document and developed a detailed ToR for the feasibility study with associated budget. This was submitted to the Minister in March 2019. OPII is providing technical leadership, supervision and managing the project on behalf of the Ministry of Higher Education.
University of the East Project
This comprehensive piece of work was also conducted at the request of the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education. The overall objective was to assess the existing structures at the Eastern Polytechnic Campus in Kenema and the proposed future headquarters of the University of the East at the Woama and Bunumbu Teachers College Campuses, as well as develop a compressive Budget for feasibility studies of the three campuses. OPII has submitted recommendations for the campus site and developed a comprehensive terms of reference and detailed budget for the feasibility studies for three campuses. The ToR and the Concept documents have been submitted to the Minister of Higher Education and the Minister of Finance.
University of Kono
|Provided professional support by conducting the initial site visit and project concept document for the construction of the proposed National University of Science and Technology at Kono. OPII has now developed a detailed ToR for the Feasibility study with an associated budget. This was submitted to the Minister on 19th March 2019.|
Construction of Student Hostels
Technical and quality evaluation is one of the most important stages of the tender process. OPII has evaluated the technical proposals submitted to the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) for the construction of student hostels in Bo, Kenema, Freetown, Makeni and Port Loko Districts. This stage has been completed and the contract award decision is pending. OPII will provide technical leadership and supervise the project implementation on behalf of NASSIT.
Report and Recommendations for Low Income Housing Proposal
OPII reviewed a low income housing proposal from Capstone Investments for the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Environment, to ascertain project viability and alignment with the Government’s New Direction agenda following which OPII prepared and submitted a detailed report and recommendations. OPII has been working very closely with Sierra Leone Housing Corporation (SALHOC) to identify potential investors and provide technical advice for low-income housing development.
In this regard, OPII joined SALHOC on a mission to Burkina Faso to inspect a housing estate development by a potential investor. OPII continues to work with SALHOC to provide advice to ensure that the construction of low – cost housing will soon commence. OPII also reviewed the Strategic Report and Future Plans of SALHOC regarding the OAU Villas, and provided recommendations to His Excellency the President through the Secretary to the President.
OPII was created to independently assess Sierra Leone’s infrastructure requirements, develop a transformational infrastructure strategy, advise government and coordinate the development and implementation of major infrastructure projects in order to manage costs and amplify impact.His Excellency, Rtd Brigadier Dr Julius Maada Wonie Bio, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone
Review and Recommendation for the Construction of a Fish Harbour
OPII reviewed the report for the construction of a fish harbour along the Peninsula Area of Freetown, and provided an objectively professional opinion and recommendation. This presentation was made at the Joint Cabinet Committee with supporting documents for its recommendations.
Professional Advice Regarding the relocation of Pademba Road Correctional Centre.
OPII has conducted a review of initial proposals to relocate Pademba Road Correctional Centre and is now working with the Ministry of Internal Affairs to develop a comprehensive project document detailing the design and infrastructure requirements for the proposed new correctional centre. At the same time, OPII continues to engage potential investors who are willing to relocate and construct a new correctional centre on a BOT basis in return for using the Pademba Road facilities for real estate development on a lease basis.
Assessments of Bo Stadium, Ministers Residence and Administrative Offices
The OPII Team together with the Resident Minister and other personnel conducted a joint assessment visit to the Bo Stadium, the President’s Lodge, the Minister’s Lodge and the provincial administrative offices. After this mission, OPII compiled and submitted a detailed report with recommendations for construction of the Bo Stadium Phase II, a suggested maintenance programme for the Lodges and the construction of a campus that will house all provincial administrative offices, MDAs and other regional or provincial offices.
Construction of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Head Office
This project, which has been on hold for several years, involves the construction of a nine storey building. OPII was contacted for technical support and has compiled and submitted a detailed estimate and report, following which construction has now commenced by the original contractor.
ECOWAS Standby Force Logistics Depot at Lungi
The Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) ad- hoc Ministerial Committee heId a meeting on the construction of Community Institutions on the 22nd of September 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria. Therein, approved the design for the second and third phase of the development of the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF) logistics depot in Lungi, Sierra Leone and other development schemes that are to be adopted in member countries.
OPII through the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development has submitted a proposal for the consultancy services and temporary supervision of the construction of the Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the ECOWAS Standby Forces Depot at Lungi. The OPII team will facilitate the project preparation and execution process by ensuring that all the requisite technical and engineering aspects of the project are effectively addressed thus ensuring timely and cost efficient project