By Hassan Bruz
Northern Bureau Chief
The Acting General Manager at the Sierra Leone Airport Authority [SLAA] – Mr. Idris Nabih Fofana, has urged for the support and cooperation of all, so as to enable him achieve the desired goals. He made an exceptional appeal to the Senior Executive Management, Board of Directors, Ministry of Transport and Aviation, the Supervisory Agencies and the entire Staff of the Airport Authority.
Mr. Idriss Nabih Fofana, who was speaking in an exclusive interview with the Sierra Leone News Agency [SLENA], said one of his immediate objectives is to consolidate Peace and Harmony in the working relationship amongst the Senior Management cadre before engaging the general Staff and Workers, on the need to collectively work out a 5 year Plan for the eventual development of the Airport. He based his appeal on the fact that the Management of the Airport has gone through 2 consecutive Transitions in its Leadership – a process that is generally believed to have created some animosity particularly among those who were vying for the position of General Manager.
The Acting General Manager said, the 5 year Plan would aim at maximising Revenue Generation, Improving upon the Infrastructure of the Airport and develop the Human Resource Capacity so as to enhance the delivery of quality service to the Airport Users. He believed this will immensely contribute towards the Economic Growth of the Country. Widening his explanation on the prevailing situation at the Freetown International Airport Mr Fofana said Management is operating on an injurious financial status owning to the then outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in the Country. He said the Airport lost about 65 percent of its projected revenue during that period, and that they lost 7 out of the 9 scheduled Airlines that were operating into the Country. ‘The Country was isolated from the rest of the World as no one wanted to come to Sierra Leone during Ebola’ Mr Fofana reiterated.
Indeed there has been a series of transitions at the Airport in recent times, starting with Mr. Donald Bull who proceeded on retirement and was succeeded by his then Deputy- Mr. John Briama. Barely 3 years after his attainment to that position, he was compelled to go on retirement and was succeeded by Mr. John Sesay. The most pitiful aspect in this succession has to do with Mr. Mohamed Swaray Deen who was Deputy General Manager to Mr. John Sesay. He served for less than 1 year when he was retired. Unlike his predecessors who were appealing for an extension of tenure, he refused to add a single minute to his retirement date. As is always the case, a lot of people are eying the seat. I gather almost half a dozen people are aspiring to succeed Mr. Swaray Deen including his then Deputy and now Acting General Manager- Mr. Idriss Nabih Fofana.
I am sure a good number of you are curious to know who this Acting General Manager is and if he is up to the task in the event he becomes the substantive. Well, Idriss Nabih Fofana is a 43 year old man that hails from Mayaya Village in Kaffu Bullom –the very Chiefdom where the Airport is situated. He is optimistic that his skills, knowledge, and professional experience will secure him the job. Apart from his Honours Degree he obtained from Fourah Bay College, Mr. Fofana has a Masters Degree in Environmental Sciences and Sustainability from Lund University in Sweden. He has a 15 years experience in Senior Management and Airport Operations. He is arguably the only Sierra Leonean at the Airport that is certified and designated as International Airport Professional from Airport Management Professional Accreditation Programme of International Civil Aviation Organisation [ICAO] and Airport Council International [ACI]. This entails a series of courses ranging from Air Transportation, Airport Financial and Commercial Management, Airport Planning, Development, and Environmental Management, Airport Operations, Safety and Security to Airport Executive Leadership.
Mr. Idriss Nabih Fofana said he has the relevant qualification and appropriate professional experience in Project Design, Planning and Management which would enable him manage and coordinate the implementation of all Civil Engineering Infrastructural Projects at the Airport. He has similar knowledge and experience in the procurement of works, goods and selection of Consultants with specific training in World Bank Procurement guidelines and procedures. He was the Head of Engineering and Maintenance as well as Projects Coordinator at the Sierra Leone Airport Authority, Member of the Procurement Unit at the Freetown International Airport, and even served as Project Manager on the Upgrading, Extension and Modification of the Freetown International Airport. He was also the Deputy General Manager at the Sierra Leone Airport Authority until his appointment to the current capacity of Acting General Manager.
Mr Fofana is an Associate Lecturer at Fourah Bay College- University of Sierra Leone. Below are some of his Photos including that of the much talked about Freetown International Airport……..