Parliament yesterday approved the final supplementary loan to finance the completion of the Bumbuna Hydro electric project. The loan agreement which is between the Government of Sierra Leone and the African Development Fund was laid on the table of Parliament on Tuesday December 2, 2008.
Explaining the nature of the loan agreement, the Deputy Minister of Finance, Development and Economic Planning, Momodu Kargbo said for the first time, Sierra Leone has huge asset in one concentration in excess of $300 Million. He said through hard work, Bumbuna is finally seeing the light of day.
The Deputy Finance Minister also said substantial funding was needed by government for the final completion of the dam and to source it, he said the President called a donors meeting in October 2007 where the ADB pledged Euro 5Million, the Government of Italy Euro 12Million, DFID Euro7 Million including the government of Sierra Leone pledging Euro 5Million to fund the completion of Bumbuna.
Subsequently, he went on the Government of Italy and DFID approved their contributions as grants whose resources were transferred to the ADB for management.
The Deputy Finance Minister also disclosed that in honoring their pledges, the ADB appraised the project with a view to secure the supplementary funding for which they provided a subsequent loan of $15Million more than what they pledged to complete the project.
The hydro he went on may provide a 50 mega watts and a 200 kilo master transmitter line, a sub-station transferring electricity from Bumbuna to Freetown, Makeni and Lunsar. This cost will entail civil works, electro mechanical equipments, environment and resettlement programme, engineering services, support to the programme implementation unit, electrification of Bumbuna village and operator services.
The payment period is forty years with a grace period of ten years and a service charge of 0.7% per annum on the principal amount disbursed and outstanding from time to time with the commitment fee being 0.5% per annum.
Reacting to the agreement, Hon Dr. Moses Sesay of APC said for over 32 years, there have been stories about the completion of Bumbuna and that the completion of the dam will bring benefit to the country.
Hon Elizabeth Lavalie of SLPP urged that the area where the dam is benefits from the electricity.
Hon P.C Bai Kurr Kanagbaro, who is the host Paramount Chief said the completion of the dam was because of tremendous efforts expressed by the President in the work. He called on the Finance Ministry to start thinking of another dam. By Ishmael Bayoh