• November 2, 2023

Over ‘Illicit’ Cancellation of Pepel Rail, Port Lease… ARISE IIP UNHAPPY WITH GOVT.

Over ‘Illicit’ Cancellation of Pepel Rail, Port Lease…  ARISE IIP UNHAPPY WITH GOVT.
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ARISE Integrated Industrial Platforms (ARISE IIP) seems displeased with the Government of Sierra Leone over what is being widely referred to as an ‘illicit’ termination of the multimillion United States Dollars company’s lease agreement for the Pepel Railtrack and Port facility.

The decision taken by GoSL through the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources and the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice, continue to send the wrong signals about government’s deceitful and unfair treatments of direct foreign investors in Sierra Leone. One such victim is ARISE IIP whose lease agreement signed early 2023 with government, for the operations the facility in questions has been turned down.

A very close source from State House, who want to completely be in Anonymity disclosed to Forum News that government including the Office of the President down to Mines and Justice ministries are under pressure to reinstate the lease agreement signed with ARISE IIP for the Pepel Port and Railway. Failure to do the needful the source continued will warrant a legal action from the company against the Government of Sierra Leone.

Following the trends of things from ARISE IIP senior management team, indications are rife that Arise IIP will be left with no alternative but to institute legal action against the Government of Sierra Leone for the termination of the agreement of the company that intend to structure an economic industrial zone in the country.

FORUM NEWS was reliably informed last evening that a letter of Notice shall be addressed to the Government of Sierra Leone in respect of the subject matter following revelations from the Office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

Government at a recent news conference held in Freetown, disclosed that Leone Rock Mineral Group (Kingho) is the legitimate contracting company for the 200 kilo meters Pepel Rail and Port network which transfers iron ore from Tonkolili districts to the seaport in the North-West, Port Loko district.

Justifying the Government’s decision, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mohamed Lamin Tarawallie told journalists that there were certain conditions that could have been met to make the ARISE IIP agreement fully enforceable, which the company failed to meet. Tarawallie refused to state the conditions that have debarred ARISE IIP from owning the lease agreement with the Government of Sierra Leone.

The Attorney General and Minister of Justice argued that; “There is no evidence from ARISE IIP to point that both parties, that is the government and the company took steps to implement those conditions precedent – and that the agreement is saying, in the event the other party that is the liaison could not satisfy those conditions precedent in the agreement before the  satisfaction date, they can waive their rights in writing — and up to this time as we site here, there is no evidence  of that , — the assertion date of that agreement to trigger the enforcement of that agreement was 9 of July this year and up to the moment , there has never been any communication between the government and ARISE IIP.”

Mines and Mineral Resources Minister, Julius Mattia explained technical reasons proffered for government’s decision saying that the government of President Julius Maada Bio has done and dusted the issue of the Pepel Rail and Port facility ahead of a plan visit to the People’s Republic of China any time November this year.

“The Pepel and Rail gauge is 762mm and that a standard gauge used for passenger rail and other light transportation is 1435mm, thus added that the Pepel rail track is not fit for a passenger train, using the facility for passenger train would be like embarking on a suicide mission,” he said.

It could be recalled that ARISE IIP SL Limited signed a shareholders’ agreement with the Government on 21 March 2023. The government of Sierra Leone signed ARISE IIP (SL) Limited for the management of a special purpose vehicle supposed to oversee managing and operating the Pepel rail and port with ARISE IIP owns 90% of the company’s ownership while the Government of Sierra Leone with 10% stake.

In the shareholders’ agreement, the Government of Sierra Leone agreed to irrevocably and unconditionally renounce any request or right to immunity, including sovereign immunity which may be applicable now or in the future under the procedures and implementing measures initiated against it or against its assets, Forum source discovered.

In recent press conference organized by the government, the Minister of Justice noted that government of Sierra Leone did not terminate the contract of ARISE IIP, but the contract terminated itself. The minister also went further to state that ARISE IIP failed to meet to certain conditions in the contract.

However, as it stands, ARISE IIP SL Limited is set to be on the verge of instituting a legal action against the host government to seek redress in a competent court of law.

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