SUMMA Group Undermines Economic Development

…Over High Airport Taxes

Over the years, the Sierra Leone Government has made several gains in attracting Tourism in the country in order to attract investments and economic growths.

But since the construction of the new airport terminal Lungi in the Port Loko District by the Turkish / Russian Company, Summa Sierra Leone Limited, the airport has become a detriment to investors and tourists wanting to invest in the country due to the high taxes imposed by the company on travellers, tourists and investors coming into the country.

Investigations carried out by the Informant, has revealed that passengers have to pay US$50 or more for incoming and outgoing at the airport coupled with the high taxes imposed on flights coming into the country which has led to high increase in the price of air ticket for passengers.

This ugly development has caused many passengers now travelling through the Republic of Guinea which they claimed is cheaper for both the cost of flights and airport taxes while abandoning the Freetown International Airport leading to hundreds of tourists diverting their destination for the Gambia which they claimed has the cheapest flights and airport taxes in the sub-region.

When President Dr. Julius Maada Bio commissioned the New Freetown International Airport situated in Lungi, Port Loko District for operations, his hope was that, the new airport will attract more flights and passengers, especially tourists into the country, hereby stimulating growth, as it will be of massive economic benefit to Sierra Leone. As was expected then, the airport is to turnover a passenger volume of over 1.2 million people yearly which is now becoming a white elephant as many travelers have abandoned due to its high taxes levied on them by the management of SUMMA Construction Company led by its General Arif Erdem Arikan.

Sierra Leoneans continue to asked about the short- and long-term benefits, which sadly has turn to a serious economic burden on the citizens. The reason they are calling on the government of President Bio to review the agreement signed with Summa Group to save the country from another economic slavery, warning that if the Company failed to reduce taxes, Guinea will continue to be Sierra Leone’s major Transit hub particularly, for air passenger traffic to South America and Europe.

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