• October 5, 2023

Energy Minister Highlight Sectoral Gains

Energy Minister Highlight Sectoral Gains
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By Austine Luseni

 

Minister of Energy, Alhaji Dr. Kanja Sesay has made his first appearance at the weekly government press briefing, where he gave a persuasive and comprehensive overview of the gains, reforms and challenges in the energy sector since the advent of his administration in 2018.

 

Alhaji Dr. Sesay said that President Julius Maada Bio had committed itself thoroughly to diversifying Sierra Leone’s energy mix and had set its overall policy objectives in the sector which the Ministry of Energy was pursuing and was fully committed to actualizing.

 

He said the Government had increased energy access in the country and was taking huge steps towards attaining energy expansion and sustainability.

 

Dr. Sesay outlined the place or role of the different players in the energy sector, noting that the process of unbundling had given rise to the establishment of EDSA and EGTC – the two sectoral players in charge of the distribution, generation and transmission electricity.

He says the Sierra Leone Electricity and Water Regulatory Commission, SLEWRC, had also been created, noting that the Ministry of Energy was providing the necessary oversight to enable these line agencies deliver their mandates.

 

The Minister of Energy informed that the Government had renegotiated the Karpowership agreement and had by that singular action, helped save $18 million in two years.

 

Dr. Sesay spoke of the contract Government signed with the Karpowership, clearly explaining that the ship and other generation facilities were playing crucial roles and helped the Government in increasing access to energy.

 

He also said that the Millennium Challenge Corporation, (MCC), Compact Programme which Sierra Leone was now eligible for, the purchase of meters, the mini grids boom, the CLSG, and the many energy projects in different parts of Sierra Leone, including the Western Area Power Generation Project, Seven Districts Electrification Project, Bo-Kenema Network Rehabilitation and Expansion Project, ESURP, Bumbuna II and Bikongor as some of the notable achievements.

 

Speaking on the challenges inherited in 2018, Dr. Sesay said that before the advent of the New Direction administration, only 15% of the total population had access to electricity, while also bemoaning the fact that the country was seriously short on generation and transmission infrastructures.

 

He concluded the session by talking about the huge amount of money Government was expending in the form of electricity subsidies, the current adjustments in tariffs, load shedding, and arrearage owed to EDSA by MDAs and others.

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