A Government delegation led by Madam Kenyeh Barlay, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Timothy M. Kabba, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Col. (RTD) Muana Massaquoi, Deputy Minister of Defence, conducted an extensive assessment of the ongoing work at the ECOWAS Military Logistics Depot in Lungi on the 1st December, 2023.
Joined by ECOWAS Commission Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Harouna Moussa, the delegation aimed to evaluate progress and establish a definitive completion deadline for the facility.
The visit encompassed an inspection of Phases 1 and 2 to ascertain advancements since their last review. The Lungi Logistics Depot, one of two approved ECOWAS Military facilities, plays a pivotal role in bolstering regional security, peace, stability, and response capabilities. These depots are instrumental in facilitating joint military operations, storing resources, and enabling swift deployment of ECOWAS Standby Forces (ESF) during regional crises, with another facility located in Mali.
The delegation, accompanied by key officials including the Ministry’s Development Secretary and the Head of ECOWAS National Office, conducted a comprehensive assessment led by the contracting firms SOGEFEL Construction and BANCA Consultant. Assisted by the Resident Commandant and Deputy, the focus was on gauging progress, addressing challenges and strategizing to meet the impending December 15, 2023 deadline.
A recent Coordination Meeting with ECOWAS headquarters officials on November 23, 2023, granted a final extension for project completion. Both contracting firms committed to finishing the work by December 15, 2023, collaborating closely with authorities to commission the facility by December 29, 2023.
Minister Kenyeh Barlay stressed the critical importance of adhering to timelines, underlining the facility’s significance, especially regarding an upcoming ECOWAS Heads of Governments meeting. She urged ECOWAS to initiate logistics deployment plans considering the depot’s nearing completion.
Timothy Kabba expressed gratitude for ECOWAS selecting Sierra Leone to host this strategic facility, highlighting the nation’s global leadership in international peace and security, particularly as it prepares for Security Council membership. He underscored the region’s security challenges and urged contractors to meet deadlines, hopeful for sustained peace in West Africa.
Deputy Defence Minister, Col. (Rtd) Massaquoi, addressed security concerns and pledged to discuss them further with the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). Contractors assured that construction and road works are on schedule for completion, with final touches on heavy vehicle parking underway.
Latest updates indicate impressive progress, with buildings at 98.61% completion and overall project advancement, including additional work, at 93.02%. These achievements emphasize the collective efforts required to meet the approaching deadline and ensure the successful establishment of the ECOWAS Military Logistics Depot in Lungi.