Arise IIP is now slithering surreptitiously in the background influencing newspaper editors to buy favors.
Over ten journalists have returned from Benin with brown paper packets, bribed over $3,000 each, with all expenses paid travel to and from Benin on ARISE IIP behest to pain a veneer feel about a company whose track record in railways and mines is zote.
ARISE IIP has signed a stick-in-the-mud lease agreed with the unashamed SLPP administration on January 17 to takeover monopoly of the management of the Pepel Port and Pepel-Tonkolili Railway and mining outfits.
ARISE IIP Founder and CEO Gangan Gupta said in Benin wile rubbing shoulders with Sierra Leonean journalists that ‘Sierra Leone will positively transform within 24 months as a result of the financial activities of his company.’
In Benin, Sarah Adnan, spokesman for ARISE IIP in a bid to twist the wet-behind-the-ear journalists, told them that sustainability is at the core of its arrangements.
Arise IIP has no record whatsoever in mining and railway operations, therefore, the agreement between the mines ministry and ARISE has been described as a matter of trial-and-error; waddling into muddy waters, with the fogy Frank Timis, a questionable business man in the lead and who is Jr. Navo, who is parading as the ‘yes man.’
ARISE could not be helping the African continent if Frank Timis is among those in the running to derail the Railway investment in Sierra Leone, which the Leone Rock Metal Group (Kingho Ltd) has managed efficiently since signing the lease. ARISE IIP would not help to improve the lots of Sierra Leoneans, already made pauperized, sinking into a wretched state of living experience since 2018, if Frank Timis of the African Minerals fame, is incorporated in the venture. ARISE has no experience in its portfolio to run a mining and Railway business – it’ll blow up like a pancake in Pepel’s face.
There are doubts over whether ARISE can bridge gaps in the Pepel Railway operations and/or transform Mining given its lack of expertise in those ventures, in spite of it boasting of bringing local value addition.
Most of what ARISE is claiming appears to be hogwash. Africa will benefit only from companies with no links to Frank Timis.
Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Timothy Kabba said 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.
“This agreement is taking a government asset from monopoly to be more accessible,” he said.
But this is untrue and Minister Kabba knows it. With Frank Timis, what guarantee is there? Could Frank Timis afford to do this with his Midas touch knowing he bears a grudge?
In Sierra Leone, ARISE is estimating a total investment of 476 million dollars to refurbish the Pepel Tonkolili Railway work, Pepel Port, Railway connectivity to Marampa mines, the introduction of passenger rail services and the rail connection to Guinea. The ARISE agreement does not create competition. It is a monopoly; a bad business. ARISE will strangle the entire country’s ability to export minerals, which may stifle Government’s revenues without any proper due process.