Sorie Fofana: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 29 May 2018:
Undoubtedly, the new government of President Julius Maada Bio inherited a wrecked economy from the APC administration of President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma. Before leaving office in April 2018, the APC government entered into several dubious deals or contracts with some emergency power producers.
One such deal is the agreement (contract) with Aggreko International Projects Limited for the provision and supply of 20MW temporary power generation equipment and services.
On top of the capacity charge of US$1,690,000 (One Million Six Hundred and Ninety thousand United States dollars), Aggreko charges EDSA (Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority) an extra amount of money for energy supply (US35 Cents per Kilowatt). (Photo: former president Koroma).
EDSA is also responsible for all fuel costs incurred by Aggreko during the period of the contract (twenty-six weeks). The contract is expected to end on May 31st, 2018.
The good news is that, the Maada Bio led SLPP government has indicated clearly that it does not intend to renew or renegotiate the Aggreko agreement or contract.
The new Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay has been very busy finding ways and means to address the issue of rampant blackout in especially the capital city of Freetown.
Since he took over from Henry Macaulay, Alhaji Kanja Sesay has been in constant touch with the owners and agents of the Turkish Powership called Karadeniz Powership Dogan Bey, which arrived in Freetown in December last year.
According to the Turkish Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Ambassador Deha Erpek, the new administration of President Julius Maada Bio (Photo) has successfully negotiated a very good deal with the Turkish Powership owners and a contract is about to be signed.
The contract has received the backing and endorsement of the World Bank, according to a senior World Bank official in Freetown.
Sources in the Ministry of Finance told the Global Times last night that the contract will be finalized today, with the concurrence of the Minister of Finance.
It is a good deal because, instead of paying US35 Cents per Kilowatt, the government has negotiated it to US16.4 Cents per kilowatt. And the good news is that, the Government or EDSA will no longer bear the cost of fuel.
Ministry of Finance sources informed the Global Times that, the new administration will be saving at least US$10m (Ten Million United States dollars) annually in the area of electricity.
At the end of the three year contract with the Turkish Powership, the new government would have saved about US$30m (Thirty Million United States dollars).
Before this new government came into office in April this year, the World Bank had warned the Sierra Leone Government not to enter into any energy agreement without their approval or concurrence.
This new contract has been approved by the World Bank. It is expected that with all formalities in the signing of the contract completed by today, blackout in Freetown will soon be over.
The other piece of good news is that, the Bumbuna Hydro Power Dam, which was shut down on 20th May for annual maintenance will return to full production capacity on Wednesday 30th May, 2018.
We continue to appeal to Sierra Leoneans to exercise calmness and patience as the new government of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio continues to address the bread and butter issues.
About the author
Sorie Fofana is the editor of Global Times
Is your report a release from the government or what you are reporting was leaked to you. How do you know about all this contract for electrical energy?
Nina, the author of this report is the editor of the Global Times. He is Sorie Fofana and he is one of the few credible journalists to have close and insider relationship with the SLPP and government of Bio. So you can take his report as authentic.
I am of the opinion that if Sierra Leone is to be transformed into an emerging African country such as Ghana, this new SLPP government should place more emphasis on accountability and the building of sustainable institutions. The “New Direction” should therefore not be a mere political rhetoric, like the APC “Agenda for change.” Rather, it should be seen as a complete departure from the old ways of conducting government business.
The demise of the Ernest Bai Koroma’s APC government have exposed massive corruption and a lot of cracks in our governance structure. Who would have thought that barely three months into office by this new government, our country will be plunged into constant blackout?
If we are to believe the APC party, the Energy sector was touted as their crowning achievement.
“Never again will our country be referred to as the darkest country in Africa” boasted our former President Ernest Bai Koroma.
But barely two months into office the new administration is grappling with this problem in spite of the purported massive amount of money wasted by the APC to make this occurrence a thing of the past. And the real kicker came when the APC party operatives mounted a campaign to discredit the new SLPP government for the blackout, as if to punctuate the fact that without the APC government, there would be total darkness.
So, to suggest that the SLPP government should continue with the good work of the past APC government is misguided and meant to deflect attention from Ernest Bai Koroma and his thieving cabal. Our country is bankrupt, our standard of education is poor and we have the highest youth unemployment in the sub region. There are no sustainable developments to be strengthened as you suggested.
The toll road was a bad investment, the mamama Airport is a sham investment, and the infrastructural development is cosmetic. No wonder Ernest Bai Koroma did not see it fit to address the nation regarding his stewardship. The man is corrupt and immoral and it is my desire and wish to see him and his government investigated for their malfeasance, otherwise, the much talked about “New Direction” will just be a spit in the wind.
If the APC Government and successive Sierra Leone Governments had acted on my recommendations in 1974 about ethical proprieties pertinent to maintenance and maintenance management of electricity generation, collections, distributions and supplies, Sierra Leone would not have landed in this electricity supplies quagmire!
I had then been based at King Tom Power Station as Mechanical Engineer – on a special salary – whilst my real and secret remit was to identify what were really going on and report directly to the expatriate General Manager.
Late President Siaka and his APC disliked my reports because they exposed too many unpleasant and disgracefully embarrassing truths! They reacted by cancelling the expatriate General Manager’s contract and gave him about 30 days to leave the country; within a week, some expatriate acquaintances advised me to leave the country IMMEDIATELY!
The rest – a lot of them – are history! Sierra Leone is still the worse for it whilst I am doing very very fine in The Diaspora – thank you!