New Project Targets Port Security in Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s ports received a security boost with a recent $3 million investment in scanning equipment and services by UK investor Intertek International Limited. The investment was guaranteed by MIGA, which provided $5 million in insurance against the risks of currency transfer restriction, expropriation, and war and civil disturbance for a period of up to ten years. The policy was issued under MIGA’s Small Investment Program.
The project involves the installation of a scanner and the provision of container scanning services for the port of Freetown, as well as port security compliance advice for the ports of Freetown, Nitti and Kissy in Sierra Leone under a 10-year build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) concession. The BOOT component of the project is underpinned by a solid training program for local staff. For the implementation of the project, Intertek has formed a joint-venture with Port Maritime Security International and the British Government’s Revenue and Customs department.
The main objectives of the project are to scan all imports and exports at ports in Sierra Leone to reduce smuggling, enhance government revenues, and improve internal security. The project will improve Sierra Leone’s anti-smuggling capabilities by detecting, controlling and preventing the movement of prohibited goods, thereby ensuring more effective enforcement and protecting local industries from illegal importation of foreign goods.
The MIGA-supported project will help the country comply with new international security requirements prescribed by the International Ship and Port Facility Security code of the International Maritime Organization. Compliance with the international framework is expected to facilitate exports from Sierra Leone to international markets. The country’s exports would be denied access to trading partners’ port facilities otherwise.