On arrival in Moscow, the Sierra Leone delegation to Russia paid a courtesy call on Ambassador Mohamed Yongawo and briefed him on the purpose of their visit to Russia.
Madam Ngozi Beckley-Lines, the Director of Projects at the Ministry of Energy, conveyed greetings from the Honorable Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay, to HE Yongawo and staff of the Mission in Moscow.
Dr. Patrick Tarawalli, Technical Adviser at the Ministry of Energy, emphasized the government’s priority of Energy. “We are here to engage Russians on the electricity partnership with Sierra Leone, from the generation of electricity to transmission, distribution and supply of electricity to the final consumers,” he said.
Executive Chairman, Petroleum Regulatory Agency (PRA), Dr. Brima Baluwa Koroma, informed Ambassador Yongawo that petroleum products are essential to the production of energy, “and there are a lot of opportunities Sierra Leone can benefit from the Oil and Gas industry in Russia”.
Ambassador Yongawo welcomed the delegation as the government representative in Moscow.
The Ambassador reminded the visiting delegation of President Bio’s Sochi meeting with Mr Novak the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia who doubles as the Minister of Energy. The primary outcome of that meeting was an agreement on the formation of an Energy working group. The latter had their maiden zoom conference in 2020.
Ambassador Yongawo informed the delegation of the several meetings his mission has lined up in the energy and petroleum sector.
Following the meeting, the Ambassador led the delegation to a potential Russian business tycoon, who has links with several companies in the fields of Energy, Petroleum, medicine, agriculture, construction.
Important presentations were made, including that by OCTA LIGHT; with particular focus on the area of generating electricity through human waste, solar power system and hydroelectricity. The Sierra Leonean side agreed with OCTA LIGHT the need to consider a memorandum of understanding after the Minister of Energy would have been briefed,
The delegation met with the CEO and President of the International Lighting Engineering Cooperation and staff.
At the company’s office, a senior staff took the Sierra Leonean visitors on a tour of the exhibition of electrical works, which included, street lights, stadium lights, traffic lights and other types – stage lighting and lighting for residential homes.
The CEO informed the delegation that he had already contacted four different companies in the Energy sector and also informed the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Federation about his interest in Sierra Leone, and that further discussions will be held on the visit of the Energy Minister, Alhaji Kanja Sesay later this year.
On Day two of the Russian Energy Week, the Sierra Leone delegation attended two events: one dealing with Energy and another, dealing with the Oil and Gas industry.
Thus, the Chairman of Petroleum Regulatory Agency Dr. Kororma attended the Deriving Benefits from the Digital Transformation of the Fuel and Energy Sector programme while Dr. Tarawalli, Technical Adviser at the Ministry of Energy and Director of Projects Madam Beckley-Lines, attended the one dealing with the Development of Electric Power: *Maintaining Reliability while Improving Technological Performance
The delegation further engaged influential Chief Executive Officers and investors in the Energy, Oil and Gas industry in the Russian Federation. These meetings were organized by His Excellency Ambassador Yongawo and the Sierra Leone Embassy.
Dr. Koroma expressed his delight in the meetings held and applauded HE Yongawo for all the good work and his love for Sierra Leone, promising that his country’s Oil and Gas industry will tap into the available opportunities to improve on the quality and quantity of supply in the Petroleum sector under the leadership of President Julius Maada Bio.
Dr. Patrick Tarawalli and Madam Ngozi Beckley-Lines thanked Ambassador Yongawo and the Embassy staff for making themselves available and for organizing fruitful meetings with potential investors.
The delegation promised to advise the Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay, of their successful engagements and the urgency of taking advantage of the opportunities presented in addressing Sierra Leone’s energy problems.
495 TAs ELECT NEW PC FOR KPANGA CHIEFDOM
As the Kaikai brothers battle for the highest political seat in Kpanga chiefdom, the Tribal Authorities (TAs’) of Kpanga chiefdom have on Tuesday afternoon (19th October 2021) in a run-off election, elected Andrew Ibrahim Jaiah Kaikai as the new Paramount chief of Kpanga chiefdom Pujehun district.
A total of 495 TAs’ voted in the run-off election between Andrew Ibrahim Jaiah Kaikai and his younger brother Alhaji Moijue Kaikai, Former Minister of the then Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs.
Announcing the Kpanga chiefdom Paramount chieftency result at the Native Administration (N.A.) Court Barry in Pujehun town, Moses Gbettu, the Provincial Secretary South declared Andrew Ibrahim Jaiah Kaikai as the Paramount Chief of Kpanga chiefdom following the Kpanga chiefdom run-off election between the two Kaikai brothers.
“Andrew Ibrahim Jaiah Kaikai haven scored 309 out of 419 votes cast have been declared winner of the run-off election for the position of Paramount chief for Kpanga chiefdom.” He revealed.
Conversely, Alhaji Moijue Kaikai who yesterday lead in the first round pool with over twenty five percent (126 votes of 509 votes among 19 candidates) has been defeated by his elder brother the father of Sierra Leone Immigration Boss, Andrew Jaiah Kaikai haven scored 179 votes with 7 invalid votes.
KINGHO INVESTMENT NOW LEONE ROCK METAL GROUP
By Anthony Vandy
The management of the Kingho investment group has formally announced the change of name of Kingho Investment Company to Leone Rokel Metal Group. The company was first established in Sierra Leone in July 2010.
The change is to localize the company with a name that gives it a Sierra Leonean identity.
Leone Rock Metal group as at now according to Gilbert Zhao CEO Leone Rock Meta Group says is one of the largest resources investment companies in west Africa
He said LRMG remains the parent company of Kingho Mining Company and Kingho Railway and Port Company which he says are part of an integrated iron ore Mining- Railway Port handing and Export Group of Companies.
The asset encompasses an open pit Iron Ore mine located in Ferengbeya, Tonkolili District and a 192 KM Railway and an integrated train discharge, Ore processing and ship loading port located in Pepel Northwest Sierra Leone
Gilbert Zhao said Leone Rock Metal Group currently has an investment of over 148.62 million US dollars in Sierra Leone. He added that they have exported over one million tons of iron ore between March 2021 till date and have also made payments over 76.4 billion Leones to the Government of Sierra Leone in to the community through their CSR projects covering health, agriculture, education, water and sanitations.
He concluded by saying that the name of the Kingho Investment Company is now Leone Rock Metal Group. The documentations bearing Kingho Investment Company which is the previous name remains valid
Sahid Nasralla is the President of Sierra Leone Association of Journalists. In his opening courtesy, he stated SLAJ was founded on 5th June 1971 to protect and promote freedom of expression and of the press in Sierra Leone. So this year 2021 we are celebrating 50 years of doing just that.
He said he is particularly impressed with the way this company has handled the media since the start of their operations in the country.
Firstly, Kingho and now LEONE ROCK, is one of few companies operating in Sierra Leone which has never reported any journalist to the IMC or taken any journalist to court despite numerous publications against the company. That’s a good record that the company respects dissenting opinions, and respects the role of the media to hold them to account.
SLAJ is also particularly impressed with the way the Leone Rock Metal Group is building its relationship with the media. He commented the vibrant young journalists heading its media unit.
PUBLIC REVIEW ARTICLE
President Bio’s Foreign Trips Are Fruitlessly Fruitless
By Mohamed Sankoh (One Drop)
Without any attempts at mincing my words, President Julius Maada Bio’s incessant foreign trips, in his so-called quest for overseas investors, could be likened to a man taking a sieve to a river to fetch water. And to be honest with him, it is high time he stopped his fruitless escapades and settle down to the business of finding solutions to the bread and butter issues which he promised to solve whilst campaigning in 2018.
And from the economic mess which the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) has flung the country into through maladministration and fiscal recklessness; it is now clear that the SLPP’s 2018 New Direction Manifesto is one of the greatest hoaxes ever foisted on the people of Sierra Leone. Everything about the current SLPP government is a big lie and high-sounding nothing. Since 2018 to date, the SLPP’s unfulfilled promises keep on swelling, everyday, like “Bo gari”; yet members of the Bio administration keep on lying about abstract achievements as if they believe that they are talking to persons wearing pampers!
And I cannot imagine that, with all what is now happening in Sierra Leone, President Bio could still have the courage to assure a thin audience of investors, at the EXPO 2020 Dubai’s Investment Forum, that his government has “…worked hard in the last three years to shape up the ecosystem to be conducive for business to flourish, fighting corruption and working very hard to make sure economic fundamentals [are] strong….” (according to the State House press release of 15 October 2021.) Such a statement appears to be a true lie because the President knows that his government has not done much to make Sierra Leone “conducive for business to flourish”; he knows that his fight against corruption has never been holistic but selectively selective aimed only at members of the opposition, and he pretty well knows that his SLPP government has been hopelessly hopeless in its attempts to make sure the country’s “economic fundamentals [are] strong…” In my opinion, it seems that the only truth about those seemingly lies is that they are spoken by a President whose words are now being taken with pinches of salt by majority of his own people!
Despite I was not part of that thin audience which our Commander-in-Chief addressed at the EXPO 2020 Dubai’s Investment Forum, in the United Arab Emirates, but I could imagine how some of those in that audience would have reacted after listening to President Bio’s drab speech (I’m yet to hear any lively one from him!). No doubt some Arab investors, who would have quickly Googled the United States’ “State Department’s 2021 Human Rights Report” on Sierra Leone on their smart phones, would have behaved like the people in the fabled tale in Ayi Kwei Armah’s novel, “The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born”, in which whilst the baboon is climbing higher to defecate on the people’s faces doesn’t realise that the people have seen its buttocks and have already turned their faces in disguised laughter!
Prior to that drab assurance to would-be investors, we are also informed by the State House Media and Communications Unit (I have problems with “Media” and “Communications” appearing in the same breath before “Unit”) that another reason why President Bio chartered a flight and spent hundreds of thousands of United States’ dollars in hotel bills and per diems was for him to “….also launch the maiden edition of the [Sierra Leone] Embassy’s Newsletter….” (according to another State House press release of 14 October 2021.) It appears that the President has so much free time and unproductive energy to fly all the way from Freetown to Dubai just to launch a newsletter which could have been done by a low-level sheep-headed Embassy staff! To be candid, President Bio and his team of hangers-on always give me the figurative picture of a group of Boy Scouts that suddenly chances upon an unguarded orchard and engages in a free-for-all picking!
I think it is high time that the toadies surrounding President Bio, both at State House and State Lodge, told their “Tok and Do” (what a classic example of personified irony) chieftain that his incessant foreign trips have been fruitlessly fruitless. Since he took over the Rudder of State in 2018, President Bio has fruitlessly traversed Ghana to Morocco to Rwanda to Uganda to Guinea to Senegal to The Gambia to Ethiopia to Japan to China to Qatar to Lebanon to Turkey to the United Kingdom to the United States of America to South Africa unto the United Arab Emirates; seeking foreign investors. Yet, foreign investors have been treating him and Sierra Leone as members of a royal family would do to a leper infected with Ebola! My advice is: If President Bio cannot find what he has been looking for overseas for over three years now, why can’t he stay home and concentrate on building the Lungi Bridge across the Atlantic Ocean or the airport in Bo. Or even build a thatch church in Tihun, his village in Bonthe District, southern Sierra Leone. And what has happened to the two million jobs the SLPP promised to create, which was announced by the ruling party’s newspaper (the Unity) with the fanfare like that of deprived children showing-off pictures of their would-be Christmas gifts?
Even the Guinean Fullah businessman, next door, could not trust President Bio that Sierra Leone is “conducive for business to flourish”, which is why he is still reluctant to build a “Tapalapa” bakery in Sierra Leone. And if businesspeople in neighbouring countries cannot trust our President and his government to come and invest in the country then why should Akon, Bill Gates, and Idris Elba come with their multi-million dollars investments in a country where government and party functionaries appear to tell lies with the frequencies with which they inhale air!
Now under the watchful watch of the SLPP government, all what President Julius Maada Bio’s foreign trips seem to have earned Sierra Leone is the unpleasant place on the World Bank 2020 GDP data as one of the “ten poorest countries in the world.” Even Government-less Somalia and drought-infested Niger are doing better than Sierra Leone. Yet, our President could still muster the courage to tell investors, at the EXPO 2020 Dubai’s Investment Forum, that his government has “…worked hard in the last three years to shape up the ecosystem to be conducive for business to flourish, fighting corruption and working very hard to make sure economic fundamentals [are] strong….” Which country was, or is, our Commander-in-Chief talking about? Certainly, he might not be talking about Sierra Leone?
It is on that note that I will end today’s One Dropian dropping with a Krio proverb that says, “Big tok nor know say ihm master po” (please pardon my English-nised Krio). And I won’t make any inference here!