African Minerals and London Mining are presently engaging cabinet ministers, members of parliament and the host community to force an endorsement for the award of the Pepel Railway Contract that will facilitate the speedy extraction of Iron Ore.
The government is expected to critically look at their activities and their corporate policies for the host community before they award the contract to any of the two companies to start operations in the Lokomasama Chiefdom Port Loko District.
The two companies are soliciting support and endorsement from individuals, who are not necessarily essential in the award of government contracts.
According to investigations some local officials are now in the constant habit of assuring some company officials that they will get the Pepel Contract for some reward that will only benefit themselves and their families depriving the whole country of investments, which can build the capacity of the people and also improve their living standards.
During a meeting held in Lokomasama Chiefdom, Port Loko District recently one of the companies bidding for the Pepel Railway Contract was caught across two worlds. The meeting was highly politicized and the host communities were not adequately informed about the company according to those interviewed by this press after the meeting.
Some of the invited guests were mainly APC Cabinet Ministers and Members of Parliament, one of them publicly confessed to the people that he went to Lokomasama to only express thanks and appreciation to the people for voting the APC.
Considering the advocacy and lobbying from the Company (African Minerals) to the government and the host community one would expect that the officials could have properly explained to the people, some activities of the company that relates to the environment and corporate policies and the significance of the investment to the area.
The consultation with the Lokomasama community was poorly organized, because the meeting’s agenda was hurriedly written on a blank A4 paper with pen upon arrival, and hand outs or brochures were not even distributed about African Minerals and its activities, to the people which could have helped to explain about the mining company.
Mean while the London Mining Company currently working in the area is also working round the clock to ensure that they get the Pepel Railway Contract and reports gathered by this press from that area indicates that, the (London Mining) is also soliciting support from close family members and friends of the President to get an endorsement for government approval of the Pepel Railway Contract.
A cross section of community elders and youths of Lokomasama Chiefdom and its environs wants the investors to properly explain to them about their activities without any political interference to get their endorsement from the above.
One of the community heads Pa Alimamy Kamara expressed his dissatisfactions over the manner in which the meeting was conducted as they were only called upon to receive APC Ministers and MPs at the court barray and they were not also given the opportunity to react to their pleas for endorsement. They however called on the Minister of Mineral Resources and the Campaign for Just Mining in Sierra Leone to organize series of consultative meetings that will focus on the advantages and disadvantages of extracting the precious Iron Ore and the benefits involved to the community and the country as a whole.
It is hoped that these companies wanting to invest in this country should use the appropriate channels and documentations in consultation with the host community to get the government contract rather than putting political and personal interest first and the nation last he warned