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Sierra Leone Sports: Bo stadium handed over to Salone

Renowned Chinese company, Xinjiang Beixin construction and Engineering Group Company Limited on Friday April 11th handed over the four thousand seater stadium to government through the Ministry of Sports.
Before the handing over ceremony, one of the Engineers Tai Xie who also doubles as interpreter told Newday that they started the construction of the Stadium on the 25th of December 2008 and they finished the project on 25th December 2013 spanning over a five year period.
The newly constructed Stadium with Modern facilities can only accept 4,000 People seated, which will be used for Football, athletics and other sporting and social events. But according to Tao the main purpose for constructing the stadium is for training. “After a period government decided that the stadium should be up to international standard and instead of 4,000 seats they now want 20,000 seats stadium.
He said by then they have signed the arrangement for the four thousand seater that is why they decided to reserve certain parts of the field for the remaining 16,000 seats. He said it is now up to government to make sure the remaining seats are constructed.
He revealed that during the construction they employed 400 people, out of this, 300 were Sierra Leoneans and 100 Chinese. As the construction comes to an end, they have 12 Chinese and about 20 Sierra Leonean workers.
He stated that after the opening they will continue to around for another year before leaving for China. By then they should have teach some Sierra Leoneans how to maintain and repair the stadium.
He also revealed that the construction of the Stadium cost 10 Million United States Dollars. He stated that they won the bid and they were awarded the contract in China.
The Acting Director of Sports Alphan Coker in his contribution said the discussion for the construction of the stadium started in 2003 with government of Sierra Leone and the Chinese government. He also furthered that in 2006 the arrangement was signed and two years later worked started.
The Provincial Secretary Mohamed G. Kamara who chaired the programme said that it is a great day because they have never witnessed such a ceremony and they have never seen such structure in any part in the province.
The Mayor of Bo City Harold Tucker in this welcome speech said they are grateful to the Chinese government for their support and the handing over of the Bo Stadium is another commitment they have shown to the people of this country.
The Acting Inspector General of Police South, David Sesay said they will also provide security for the stadium at all times to keep it safe and protect it from unwanted destruction.
Yin Hong, the 2nd Secretary of the Economic and Commercial Counselor’s office of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Sierra Leone said that youths in the country has passion for sports so they are going to enjoy the facilities at the stadium. She urged them to take good care of the facilities and keep it clean so that whenever people come to use the facility they should find it well kept.
The Minister of Sports Paul Kamara said they appreciate the effort of the President Ernest Bai Koroma and the relationship between Sierra Leone and China over the years. He said the relationship has brought so much to Sierra Leone and they will continue to work with China for the development of the country.
He said as a Ministry, receiving the Stadium on behalf of government they are pleased with the work that is why they agreed to sign the agreement.
They also tour the stadium looking at some of the facilities like the score board area.
By Bernad Turay
Tuesday April 15, 2014

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