• November 15, 2023

MP Urges Govt. to Look into ARISE IIP Lease Pact 

MP Urges Govt. to Look into ARISE IIP Lease Pact 
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By Donstance Koroma

Despite lawmakers on both sides of the House of Parliament have referred to the Railway and Port lease agreement between the Government of Sierra Leone and the Leone Rock Metal Group-Kingho Sierra Leone Limited, as not controversial, the Honourable Member of Parliament representing Port Loko, Hon Satie Kargbo has urged the Government of Sierra Leone to look into the concerns of ARISE IIP.

Hon Kargbo called on Government through the appropriate authorities to urgently address the issues and concerns raised by ARISE IIP, stressing that the issue of IRISE IIP have the propensity to bring the country into disrepute.

 

Hon. Rose Marie Dumbuya of Tonkolili District told the Well of Parliament that she is the host community for the iron ore. She thanked the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources for bringing the agreement to parliament. Hon. Rose Marie Dumbuya described LRMG-Kingho as responsible and Compliance Company that since its inception in the district has been regularly consulting her on happens in respect to their operations.

 

The lawmaker described the agreement as a win- win situation for LRMG-Kingho, ARISE IIP and the country in general. She called on LRMG-Kingho to do more in the areas of job creating opportunity, training and skills development programmes for residents of the community and its environs.

 

Hon. Dickson Rogers, Moyamba district lauded Hon. Satie Kargbo for pointing out numerous assistances LRMG-Kingho has given to Sierra Leoneans. He appealed for train lines to other districts to investors having interest in rail transportation to boost economic growth within the shortest possible time.

 

Hon Rogers described the agreement is non-controversial and profitable as it will encourage the reduction of foreign exchange rates and boost youth employment. Rapping up the debate, Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Abdul Kargbo said the country is with limited foreign direct investments and as such if not addressed properly it will affect the country’s foreign exchange rates which in turn will result to inflation.

 

Any agreement not ratify is not a substantial agreement, noting that as a country we can’t do better without foreign direct investments, the opposition leader emphasized. Hon. Abdul Kargbo therefore warned the government that the way and manner in which the country has handled previous investors will greatly determine the country’s chances of attracting other sober investors.

“It’s my prayer that more investors flood the country regardless who is in power,” prayed Minority Leader.

 

If as a country we did not exhibit credibility and confidence from investors, it will be difficult for the country to attract the kind of investors Sierra Leone is longing for, Hon. Abdul Kargbo. “No other agreement before parliament, except Kingho, which speaks to the fact that lawmakers are doing justice to the agreement before them,” observed the Minority Leader of the House.

He recalled that on 17th January 2023, the Government of Sierra Leone when into agreement with ARISE IIP relating to the Pepel rail and port and he noted was followed by a media briefing on 27th October. He therefore quoted Standing Order (SO) 25 (2) for a formal investigation into the issue to restore investors’ confidence.

 

According to the Minority Leader, descendants of Port Loko have referred to the Kingho agreement that makes provision for a third party as a right decision. The Leader of Opposition also encouraged Chairmen of Committees to take their oversight functions more seriously in ensuring that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) comport and behave the right ways, noting that mining companies in several districts triangulate other parties. He called on the Committee on Mine and Mineral Resources to always ensure that others are not disadvantaged.

 

The Leader of Government Business, Hon. Mathew Nyuma, cited section 40, sub-section 4 of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone which stipulates that any agreement must be ratified by the House of Parliament. He continued that there are three arms of government, pointing that the Executive remains the executive, justifying that parliament is another arm of government that is independent and regulates itself, and as a result of that the motion of the Opposition Leader for an investigation into the Ministry of Mine and Mineral Resources is uncalled for.

 

Reacting to the issues of compliance raised by the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Mathew Nyuma cited section 7 sub-section 4 of the Constitution is in line with section 4 of the Kingho agreement as a guiding rule that points at non-discrimination of third party.

 

“Section 3 of the agreement that talks on surface rent allocated 150 Thousand Dollars annually with an annual 5% increase for twenty years,” disclosed Leader of Government Business.

 

He also mentioned the fact that the Kingho agreement that was before the Chamber of Parliament was far from being controversial and called for its speedy ratification.

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