Parliamentary Committee Chairman Showers Praises on Energy Minister

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    Alhaji Kanja Sesay, Minister of Energy

    By Foday Moriba Conteh

    Hon. Kekura Vandi the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Energy, has praised the Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay, for the rapid and impressive strides and gains made in the energy sector since he assumed office some two years ago. Hon. Kekura Vandi was speaking in the Well of Parliament.

    The Chairman described the Minister of Energy as a resourceful and result-oriented man. He catalogued the strides undertaken and the gains made in the energy sector in the two years of the Minister’s tenure as incomparably colossal and outstanding.

    Speaking on the World Bank funded Energy Sector Utility Reform Project (ESURP), which aims at overhauling the entire network and distribution system in Freetown, Hon. Vandi said the project was the first of its kind, noting that a past project which would come close to matching the ESURP in Freetown in size and relevance, took place some twenty-five years ago. He added that four out of the five primary substations in Freetown had already been completed, with works on subterranean, overhead cables and the distribution of new transformers ongoing.

    On the CLSG or West Africa Power Pool Project, Hon.Vandi was full of praises of the Minister, describing the gains made in that aspect as accelerated and unprecedented. He corrected misleading or erroneous conceptions about the project being the brainchild of the former administration by saying that the West Africa Power Pool Project started way back in 1999, with the Adoption and Article Agreement signed in 2006.

    Hon.Vandi informed the House that out of the 500km line needed for the CLSG project, 300km had been completed along with three out of the five primary substations and the payment of some 1,400 project affected persons. He said the country was now far ahead of Liberia.

    On the Bo-Kenema Network Rehabilitation and Expansion and the Bumbuna Two projects, Hon.Vandi said that the first consignment of materials for the Bo-Kenema project had arrived and had been delivered. He said the next consignment will soon arrive, while assuring that the project entails the installation of some 237 transformers in the two cities.

    The Parliamentary Committee Chairman said that with the intervention of the President, the cost for the implementation of the 140 megawatt Bumbuna Two project had been renegotiated and cut down to within a single digit, and that the land for the construction of the dam had been officially handed over to those concerned.

    While concluding, Hon.Vandi said negotiations are ongoing with a Sino Hydro company for the installation of a 160 megawatt dam at Bikongor. He also spoke about the Mini Grid project in rural areas, noting that 54 chiefdom headquarter towns had benefitted, with work ongoing in other chiefdoms. He added that pre-paid meters were now available and easily accessible once the correct procedures were followed, while also assuring that six district headquarter towns and Njala University would benefit from electricity.

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