Barely 93 days in office, a smiling President Ernest Bai Koroma yesterday declared “it was a very ambitious date and we are glad because we have achieved it” as he fulfilled his promise to light up Freetown by Christmas by commissioning the CAT rental 15 Mega Watts generator at the Kingtom Power Station.
Addressing government ministers, parliamentarians, party supporters and other dignitaries at the Kingtom Power Station, the President reiterated that, electricity supply was his top most priority.
He recalled that on the 5th of October when he addressed Parliament he told the nation that the provision of energy was a top priority of his government.
The President stated that he made that commitment because “we know that without energy nothing will go on in the country and with energy we can do so many things.”
“With energy I’m sure we will be able to turn around the economy; with energy we will be able to improve on our social delivery services like education, health and others with energy I think the lives of the ordinary man will improve. That is why energy is my top priority” he said.
He stated that, from the moment he made that pronouncement they got to work immediately “because the energy situation was terrible in the country.”
“At the time I took over governance the total energy that this country was producing was under 10 Mega Watts and that has been in existence long time before I took over” said the President.
He disclosed that his “target is not only to improve on the energy provision in Freetown but also in the whole country.”
“I believe” he said “that to do anything you have to start some where that is why we target our selves on the emergency energy provision for Freetown to provide 15 Mega Watts.” The Head of State averred “we set a target date which was on the 20th December it was a very ambitious date and we are glad because we have achieved it”.
“Working together” he maintained “we will be able to achieve the impossible, working together as a government we will achieve, working together as National Power Authority (NPA) we will achieve, working with international community and Sierra Leoneans we will achieve the impossible.” He thanked the World Bank who cut down on their bureaucracy and the Global Trading Company who work under serious pressure. He urged all to rise up and take the challenge with determination so that the country will change.
President Ernest Bai Koroma disclosed further that, within the short time that he took over office he has got the commitment from the international donor community to complete the Bumbuna Hydroelectric with 45 Million dollars. To the NPA workers he admonished them to go out and improve on the distribution network and make sure that every corner of this country has access to power. He also asked them to refrain from conniving with the people for illegal connections. President also appealed to them to stop stealing the machine oil and urged them to be watchdogs.
To the citizens he asked them to stop the stealing of NPA property “if we want to solve the electricity problem.” He appealed to citizens to pay their bills promptly and be responsible citizens. The Minister of Energy and Power, Haja Afsatu Kabba said that the ceremony was the most historic day in the country, adding that, “no more pain, no more stress, Sierra Leone is on top.”