Sierra Leone government signs railway development agreement with ARISE Integrated Industrial Platform Ltd

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 22 January 2023

The Government of Sierra Leone last Tuesday signed the Pepel Port and Pepel – Tonkolili Railway Development, Expansion and Management lease agreement with a company called ARISE Integrated Industrial Platforms Ltd.

According to the Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Timothy Kabba, this agreement is part of the bigger reforms in the mining sector, where the government intends to open the space for more players to participate.

He furthered that ARISE IIP is a credible company with a reputation for developing and managing infrastructure in Africa. “This agreement is taking a government asset from monopoly to be more accessible” he added.

Minister Kabba said  that the revival of the mining operation requires significant investment in infrastructure for the country to fully benefit from the growth of its mining output.

This lease agreement will give a 10% free Carry to the Government of Sierra Leone and provide access to rail and port facilities to other bulk mineral producers in the northern corridor.

The project will expand economic activities by providing jobs for Sierra Leoneans and enable passengers’ locomotion from Tonkolili through Bombali to the Port Loko district.

Through this agreement, the company will also introduce passenger rail service that provides  communities with improved mobility and trade access, increase mineral export with an additional 20 million MT, 10% dividend to Government, surface rent to landowners, annual royalties, PAYE and other taxes.

Minister of Finance Sheku Ahmed Fantamadi Bangura said that ARISE IIP is a sector specialist firm with a proven record across Africa in managing infrastructure. Stating that they are signing this agreement after several consultations, due diligence and approval from the cabinet with concurrence from the Ministry of Finance.

He furthered that this agreement is in the best interest of the government and people of Sierra Leone and that after the signing, the agreement will be taken to parliament for ratification.

The business plan, financial model and pre-feasibility studies are estimating a total investment of 476 million dollars covering the refurbishment of the Pepel Tonkolili Railway work, Pepel Port, Railway connectivity to Marampa mines, the introduction of passenger rail services and rail connection to Guinea.

Signing for ARISE IIP, Managing Director, Jesper Harring Boll stated that ARISE is a conceiver, developer and operator of high-added-value infrastructure committed to making Africa thrive with an investment of several billion dollars and a good track record across many countries in Africa like Benin, Togo, Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire, Tchad, RoC, DRC or Rwanda.

He said that ARISE IIP identifies gaps in African countries that unlock value and create new industries to create local transformation and maximize production, efficiency and cost to generate growth and local value addition.

 

2 Comments

  1. When I first saw the headline I gasped, thinking that Bio was about to revive the railway service which Siaka Stevens killed decades ago. But then as I read it I saw that it was all about mining our iron ore.and the train that would transport it to the sea port where it would be carted away to foreign lands,to be transformefd to various commodities and then shipped back to us at a higher price,which would swallow up much of the 10% which we are supposed to get. To put it another way, we get nothing. I hope a future government, preferably led NGC, will reexamine all contracts currently being signed by Bio to ensure that the country has not been taken on the cheap. Only God and Bio know what 10% would amount to, but a cllever Bio would have got the company (ARISE) to extend the raliway service to civilian use , with the proviso to further it to the south of the country; that would have been a gem of a move by a President fighting for his political life..

    Bio is failing to get on the train which many African leaders have already boarded, and it is about to leave the platform. Colonel Mamady Dumbuya next door in Guinea says no to the export of iron ore from his country anymore – it should be processed there. Nana Akofo Danqua Addo in Ghana says all cocoa beans should be locally processed and transformed to whatever; bauxcite is also locally processed. Yoweri Moseveny in Uganda says his oil should be piped from his country to other nations.Emerson Munangagwa of Zimbabwe is also onboard.The list is quite long as an increasing number of Afrrican leaders are waking up and feeling the power which the Continent has. Repeatedly we install those who are slow in the head to lead us..

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