By Mustapha Ezekiel Dumbuya
Power Leone is one of the Sierra Leone subsidiaries of Energicity Corp that was signed by the Ministry of energy under the rural electrification project to help some remote communities to get sustainable and reliable electricity with affordable cost to the people of Tonkoh Limba Chiefdom, Kambia district.
The company has been signed by the Ministry of Energy to provide 1.7 MW operations in 32 communities as sub solar Minigrid in some remote communities including Madina town in Tonkoh Limba Chiefdom under the Rural Electrification Project.
It should be noted that, Power Leone has failed to comply with the terms and conditions as per agreement signed by the Ministry of Energy noting that as indigenes of the said community that are currently suffering with high cost of tariffs and poor customers services rendered them by power Leone.
According to sources from one of the aggrieved individuals, the Company is supposed to collect ten Leones (NLE10) per meter as monthly prepaid meter charges and they are now collecting twelve Leones (NLE12) from each customer as a monthly prepaid meter charges.
Despite the charges, the credit they will buy for their daily home consumption was not the agreement signed by the Ministry of energy.
Investigations also prove that the prepaid meters power Leone supplied in that community are blind and unreadable meters without any provisions that will let customers know how much credit or unit had been used or remains from the meter.
Customers also accused power Leone of extending their connections to one of the mobile telecommunications Qcell which has caused significant power outages in some areas as the company’s equipment take heavy power.
According to investigation indigenes of Tonkoh Limba Chiefdom were not getting the energy supply as required and the rate at which the company set the tariff is high that a good number of customers couldn’t able to use the power supply because they couldn’t afford such amount to fed their unreadable meters.
Our investigations also revealed that this criminal syndicate was set up by the Ministry of Energy and power Leone to extort money from those remote residents who find it very difficult to make ends meet, as the economic hardship is vividly increasing in Sierra Leone.
Power Leone won a competitive tender in 2019, winning a 20 year concession in Port Loko, Karene, Kambia, and Moyamba Districts of Sierra Leone, forming the subsidiary of Power Leone. With this concession, Power Leone will serve 32 communities, at least 23 health clinics, and approximately 100,000 people.
Power Leone started operations in September 2019 with the launch of the Minigrid at Lokomasama Petifu Junction by the Ministry of Energy.
Speaking to Alhaji Kanja Sesay, the Minister of Energy and power said that Journalists should investigate properly, get the facts and publish and advised that the allegations must be investigated to ascertain their veracity.
“First point is that they are a private company so it not true that I brought them to Sierra Leone. I don’t know anything about the other allegations; you must do proper investigation as journalists. I am out of the country now so it is not possible to grant you an interview” Mr Sesay said.
Speaking to one of the Senior Staff of the company who refused to submit his name to this medium explained that they had received the complains of the people and he had already had a meeting with them, whiles further adding that they will fix some of those issues as quickly as possible.
The Staff added that he couldn’t give any added information but noted that journalists should contact their office line which he also refused to submit to this medium for further clarification.