• July 24, 2020

Bio’s Failed Energy Sector Playing a Catch Up  

Bio’s Failed Energy Sector Playing a Catch Up  
Share on

By Joseph A. Kamanda

The culture of efficient public service delivery must not be downplayed by whoever is charged with the task of supplying what to whom. And failures must not be covered up with desperations to satisfy the wishes and aspirations of incompetent leadership in state governance.

Apart from commenting on stories of failed leaderships in the system, let’s first take a close look at the Sierra Leone People’s Party refusal to condemn the killings of innocent civilians, instead charging the community for attacking its office in Makeni.

In Sierra Leone week in and out there is always a new line of story of either violence, political intimidations or other forms of breakdown of law and order like it recently happened at the prison riots, Tombo, Lunsar, and now in Makeni, all in a bid to protect their innocent and vulnerable rights from the hands of happy trigger untrained and unqualified armed police personnel, who always response with a very high handedness no matter its negative outcome.

This is almost becoming a norm in that there are always bloodbaths from the killings of innocent civilians for reasons best known to the powers that be, which undermine the peace, stability and the whole development process of the country, therefore such acts should not repeat itself again.

The use of fire arms should not always be the only option to calm down riots. Our police must be professional in conducting their operations. This is due to their failure in executing their duty professionally in the transfer of the thermal plant from Makeni to Port Loko during which four innocent civilian lives were lost in cold blooded through gunshots. The unprofessional misconduct by the Sierra Leone Police force has received wide condemnations from across the board.

Also meant to talked about before touching on the failure in the energy sector, is the unconstitutional appointment of the new chairman of the National Electoral Commission, Mohamed Konneh by the president, a decision Government spokesmen and the incompetent press secretary, along with their spinners are spending sleepless nights defending, amongst series of other issues including the well fitted ‘rape’ scandal now round the neck of the leader and former presidential candidate of the Alliance Democratic Party – ADP Mohamed Kamarimba Massaray.

Of course scandals of such nature are not meant for catch pushers at Dove Cut Market and on Abacha Street, but for a firebrand opposition politician like the ADP strongman MKM, who has regularly checkmated the excesses of the Government of President Julius Maada Bio and the ruling SLPP. And don’t ask why he’s being roped on such allegation, certainly because this is the right time to silent ‘Borbor for en mote.’

To delivery of constitutional mandates in any position of trust especially those that have to with state governance, leaderships must start account for their various stewardships and if such are not met in record time, then no need to continue having such workers on jobs they cannot deliver on and keep listening and receiving blames as we are now hearing from the energy sector.

For Makeni in particular, residents of that peaceful city wouldn’t want to remind the world that they were not aware of early warning signals their regional minister, Abu Abu Koroma showed them recently, and barely two months after his statement threatening to shoot and kill youth of the city, the police taken the lives of four people by gunshots, for protesting against the removal of a thermal plant from their city to another place, which was actually their main concerns.

Rushing up with bogus energy contracts all over the place trying to please certain section of the ruling SLPP members and supporters, under the guise of lighting up four district headquarter towns is just too bogus by the Energy Minister who is set to commission even a used transformer if given the attention just to secure point against their political opponents.

Frankly speaking, had it not been for the massive failure of the energy sector, no need for the department to have gone to relocate the thermal plant from Makeni to Lungi. Then they shamelessly keep bragging of lighting up Koinadugu, Kambia etal, which is not impressive at all but just a mere fake catch up deal trying to divert the minds of the suffering masses in impoverished rural communities across energy deficiency country.

Would the SLPP and President Bio want to tell us and the world that his administration has no formidable blueprint for energy sector development, only to be clamouring for cheap thermal plant and killed innocent people who are expected to benefit from such facilities?

It is a big shame on part of the line ministry, the presidency, Government and the failed Minister of Energy, Alhaji Sesay himself for first of all deceiving his boss President Bio with piles of lies, that all is fine and beautiful in the energy sector whiles certain communities are constantly living in perpetual darkness.

In fact, it is a proven fact that whenever the SLPP is in governance they are always troubled with lack of adequate service delivery in the areas of water and energy supplies, which has never been pleasant experiences of industries as well as businesses in the Western Area, due to lack of apt leadership from the water resources and the energy ministries, leading to inadequate provision or none availability of public service utilities.

For the Ministry of Energy, it has always been a sector with less attention from the incumbent SLPP Government of President Bio and minister Alhaji Kanja Sesay, the more reasons for the regular transfers of thermal plants from one city to the other no matter its implications; as they did in Kono, to one of their ruling party strongholds in the south and eastern regions.

This time around from Makeni to Lungi-Port Loko district, simply because the Government has failed to meet its obligations in the social contract the president and the SLPP signed with the people, irrespective of the streaming of recent donor funds to boost the country’s crippling energy sector. Yet power outages become the order of the day.

With all catch games being played by the Minister of Energy, there are certain areas in Freetown who can still hardly account for steady power supply, not to talk of its regularity in homes, factories and in private entities.

So then why the deception on your part father Government?

Energy by all indications needs premium attention with the right political will from the presidency down to his surrogate, who is charged with the task of ensuring that consumers received regular power supplies in their homes, businesses places and other establishments as required by laws of the sector.

That is exactly what we all saw during the last administration of the main opposition All People’s Congress – APC party and former President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma did with fully devoted commitments. No wonder the last administration attracted direct foreign investments into the country, because energy was available in all major districts and towns across the country.

Moreover, right from the inception of his administration, Koroma and the last APC Government provided Sierra Leoneans with sustainable national energy sector, starting with the lighting up of what used to be one of the darkest cities in African to a brighter Freetown, to the rural communities and provincial towns and cities with regular electricity supplies.

The Koroma era brought light as promised within his first one hundred days in office thereby changed the situation of Freetown and the country as a whole, and Sierra Leone once again won the admirations of the world compared to what was inherited from the late former President Alhaji Ahmed Tejan Kabbah.

It could be vividly recalled that prior to the 2007 presidential, legislative and municipal elections, Freetown and other western area residents were very much relied on electricity from generators commonly known as Kabbah ‘tigers’, which angered people to a point of costing the then ruling SLPP power to the APC party.

That must have served as lessons learnt by now.

That is why President Bio needs to tighten up his belt by paying keen attention to consistent and regular supplies of water and electricity to much needed consumer communities in Freetown and other parts of the country as the people are fed up and tired empty excuses.

The SLPP Government’s failure in meeting such commitments as campaign promises, is resulting to negative resentments from the public much as consumers subscribe to recharge their prepaid meters, they in turn expect power supplies in their homes and places of work, which is not as consistent as one could imagine.

So up your game now Mr. President and fix all problems that are now associated with the energy sector by ensuring that petty corruptions including the withholding of the 10% kickbacks that are militating against the progress and development in the energy sector become things of the past.

The fact that President Bio is aware of the distractions faced by the failed and incompetent Energy Minister, Alhaji Sesay, is adversely affecting his performance on the job, then no need to be babysitting him at the Energy Ministry and keep receiving excuses from him for failures to make available power supplies to consumers.

He has no experience in the area of energy and lacks the knowhow of handling the sector, so having played your part as a leader and appointed him cabinet out of patronage, he must be able to meet challenges by now and if could, not then you fire him without compromise for you can’t keep having nonperformers on board.

Thus Mr. President makes sure you replace Alhaji Sesay with very trained and qualified engineers in the field of energy the next time you are reshuffling your cabinet. And don’t just place them based on political patronage. And to save your name do it by merit this time around and secure handsome credits for a job well done and don’t tolerate accumulation of blames and faults under your leadership.

SLPP’s failures to provide social services-water and electricity have always hunted their Government past and present due to political patronage coupled with misplacements of development priorities as in the appointment of candidate to serve in the energy with no experience in the field of engineering.

That was the first mistake President Bio made in also failing to realize how important energy is to national development, and how scanty Alhaji Sesay’s experience is in handling regular power is supplies. There is no two ways about it, Alhaji Sesay has failed the president, Government and the people of Sierra Leone must see him taking leave of the system now than later before he keeps messing up with the solid foundations he inherited from his predecessors and the last APC administration.

Since April 2018 when the SLPP Government set in to date, the energy sector has been struggling with the supply of regular electricity to Freetown and other provincial cities; places that command high demands for electricity supplies, but hardly enjoy it due to inefficiencies of the sector’s agencies as Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) and EGTC in Freetown and in Western Rural District, Bo and Kenema.

In the distributions and supplies of electricity under the political leadership of Alhaji Sesay who pays less attention towards the execution of his mandates at the Ministry of Energy, which continues to keep large portions Freetown in acute power shortage knowing very well that every corner is being plagued with  power outage.

Power outage affect every aspect socioeconomic livelihoods of the people, as most homes and pleases of work are largely depend on state provided power supplies, so when once they are not available, it will negatively impact on everything in their lives equally like the shortage of fuel.

In fact, any serious public administrator like his predecessors, Alhaji Sesay could not have rushed into signing another five years Karpowership deal only to extort commission from the contractors.

He should have rather design a sustainable national energy sector development policy and programmes that will have lasted the country for years, instead of signing contracts with generators owners focused on maximizing profit out of which Finance and Energy ministers had their fair shares of the deal. And these dealers and wheelers things can only stop by reshuffling cabinet now. Act now President Bio where necessary never mind the blames, for you owe it to the country and people of Sierra Leone not your political friends in the SLPP party.

And to end these catch up games of shifting blames and excuses from one quarter to the other, Kanja Sesay’s replacements with another competent candidate is the only solution to the success to the restructuring of the energy sector.

If Kanja Sesay continues to hold the office of Ministry of Energy, things will keep on back pedals affecting electricity supplies to customers and consumers which at the end have the tendency of affecting the suffering the masses under the watchful eyes of President Julius Maada Bio, whose unfulfilled campaign promises are still fresh in the minds of all and sundry

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *