NGC Publicity Office: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 7 January 2018:
The National Grand Coalition (NGC) Party has learnt with consternation, news reports that the Ernest Korma-led APC Government recently rushed three major mining agreements with little or no debate through Parliament.
Each of those agreements could have huge and adverse economic implications for the development of our country and the future of our young generation.
For the information of the general public, the following agreements were sent under Certificates of Urgency and secretly passed by Parliament.
The NGC has no indication that members of the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) in Parliament, exercised their constitutional mandate in the matter by denouncing the process as they should have done.
This is another instance of the SLPP as a party failing the people of this country.
The NGC therefore considers the SLPP to have aided and abetted and being complicit in the passing of the following agreements:
- A Large Scale Iron Ore License Agreement between the Government of Sierra Leone and a hitherto unknown firm called the SL Mining Limited.
- Contract Agreement between the Government of Sierra Leone and another unknown company, SierraMin Bauxite (SL) Limited, for Bauxite Mineral Prospecting and Mining in Port Loko District.
The National Grand Coalition is of the view that these agreements were deliberately and clandestinely negotiated and signed by the APC Government to benefit a few highly placed individuals in cahoots with foreign nationals.
This is being done with the sole objective of continuing the selfish and cupid exploitation of the natural resources of our country, as if the great majority of people have not suffered enough under the APC government.
The NGC therefore calls on the international donor and diplomatic community, civil society organisations, Transparency International and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), to call on the Government of President Ernest Koroma to come out clean and explain to the nation, their justification for these secret agreements and who the beneficiaries are, coming as these agreements do on the threshold of the March 2018 Elections.
While the NGC Party understands and respects the role of Government in negotiating mining agreements and development programs involving national and, or international entities, it questions the motives of Government, when such an agreement is negotiated and signed in secrecy, and with very little or no consultation and involvement of the various chiefdoms and communities likely to be affected.
Such lack of transparency presents the action of the Government as shady and a clear manifestation of the rampant corruption that has characterised ten years of APC rule, which has brought our country trembling on the brink of a failed state.