Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – The Minister of Information and Civic Education, Chernor Bah, has unveiled the highly media frenzy discussed Kingho Rail PortAgreement.
With Attorney General Mohamed Lamin Tarawalley taking the lead, the revelation was nothing short of groundbreaking.
Attorney General Tarawalley made the much-awaited announcement at the press conference, on Friday 27 October at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Aberdeen.
He confirmed that the Government of Sierra Leone has officially sealed a game-changing deal with Kingho Rail and Port. This watershed decision, having been given the Cabinet’s prior nod, has set in motion a project of tremendous significance for the nation.
This pivotal agreement comes in the wake of a disheartening turn of events with Arise, as Minister Tarawalley unveiled. Arise’s inability to meet the stringent terms and conditions set in their contract led to the mutually agreed termination of the partnership. The condition precedents crucial for the deal were simply not met.
Of particular note, the deadline for Arise to meet the prerequisites and set the agreement in motion had been fixed for the 9th of July 2023. With Arise failing to meet this critical milestone, the government opted for an alternative path, entering into an agreement with Kingho to ensure that Sierra Leone’s future did not face a void.
In a further leap towards progress, the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Col. (Rtd) Alhaji Fanday Turay, unveiled ambitious plans for the establishment of a specialized Semi-Autonomous Agency. This agency would not only oversee the railways but also cable cars, a forward-looking initiative with the potential to generate numerous job opportunities and foster capacity building.
In addressing concerns about potential monopolization of the rail and port, Minister Turay emphasized that the contract with Kingho mandates a minimum 10% capacity allocation for other interested parties. This measure ensures that the nation’s infrastructure remains accessible and competitive.
Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Julius Mattai, lauded Kingho’s transformative investment. He highlighted that the Rail and Port had languished in dire need of revitalization until Kingho stepped in, injecting over $100 million into the project and breathing new life into this vital infrastructure. The decision by the government is seen as a pivotal step in securing a brighter future for Sierra Leone.
During the conference, it was clarified that the Rail at Pepel is primarily engineered for cargo carriage, not passenger services, reinforcing the project’s economic and industrial focus.
Meanwhile, Arise IIP retains control over the Industrial Zone in Koya, and the government remains eagerly anticipative of the realization of this substantial project.
The Rail and Port Agreement with Kingho Rail and Port signifies a momentous milestone in Sierra Leone’s developmental journey. This agreement not only promises economic growth and job opportunities but also holds the potential to elevate the nation’s infrastructure to new heights, setting it on a path toward a prosperous future. OG/28/10/2023