In August this year, the new Chinese ambassador to Sierra Leone – Hu Zhangliang, met president Bio at State House in Freetown, where he informed president Bio about a range of support that the Chinese government has approved for the country.
The ambassador said that the Chinese government will help develop the country’s international Lungi Airport, after president Bio took the bold decision to cancel a $400 million loan agreement signed by former president Koroma with China to build a new international airport.
In particular, China says they will modernise the airport’s VIP lounge, which recently was the subject of much fracas between the opposition APC and the government, after former president Koroma was denied access to the lounge.
“In terms of improving the capability of receiving state guests, my government is considering to help your government set up a VIP convoy with bikes, cars and support cars. And I believe that all of these will be delivered by February 2020. We are also looking at the rehabilitation of the VIP Lounge at the Lungi International Airport,” he said.
Last week, the Chinese government made good on its promise, well ahead of the schedule delivery deadline date of February 2020.
According to Sierra Leone’s State House report, the government of president Bio last Monday 23 December 2019, received a large consignment of VIP logistic support, from the Chinese embassy in Freetown.
Receiving and inspecting the consignment from ambassador – Hu Zhangliang at the Ministry of Foreign Affair and International Cooperation (MFAIC) in Tower Hill, Freetown, president Bio expressed delight and gratitude.
This massive Christmas present from the Chinese government which according to Sierra Leone’s minister of foreign affairs cost over $1 million, comprises a fleet of 31 luxurious vehicles.
The Chinese ambassador said the vehicles should help the Sierra Leone government “give foreign VIP visitors to the country a diplomatic and dignified welcome”.
The fleet includes 5 VVIP vehicles, 5 protocol vehicles, 5 official vehicles, 3 large coaches, 1 Ambulance, 2 supporting cars and 10 VIP police escort motor bikes.