By Samuel Serry Jr.
The mining sector in this country is one that many expect, if properly managed and the proceeds derived from it judiciously expended, will to a large extent accelerate economic growth. Indeed if news of an imminent return of Frank Timis is anything to go by, then Sierra Leoneans can only expect better days.
It was understood that the mining investor has through his legal representative contacted the Government of Sierra Leone to lift the suspension on his mining license to clear the way for a new investment package that will automatically employ over 20,000 Sierra Leoneans.
The exact details of the new mining agreement with Government are yet unknown but very competent sources say both parties have acknowledged a need to move forward with an investment that will significantly boost the country’s GDP and lift it out of its current economic quagmire.
It will be recalled that it was Timis who developed the Tonkolili mines with first class mining infrastructure including a railway that runs through Tonkolili, Port Loko and Bombali. However, his mining license was canceled in somewhat controversial circumstances in 2017 while 75% of his African Minerals shares taken over by a Chinese company, Shandong.
He was largely credited by reputable institutions including the World Bank to have contributed to Sierra Leone’s rapid economic growth between 2014 and 2016 by paying over US 100,000,000 (One Hundred Million United States Dollars) as advance tax to Government. Timi’s US$3.2 Billion investment was undoubtedly the major reasons for the good road infrastructure we see in Sierra Leone today.
There is palpable anxiety in every street corner with news of the return of Frank Timis. There is no doubt that this will not only bring our economy back on track but will also restore hope to a country desperately anxious to catch up with the rest of the world.