"When I stood in this honourable house last year, my pledge was to give energy the topmost priority of my government. I declared the poor state of power generation an emergency and put in place an Energy Emergency Programme to speed up the restoration of electricity supply not only to Freetown and its environs, but also to the district headquarter towns. Under this emergency programme we have increased electricity generation in Freetown from five megawatts to twenty five megawatts."
These were the exact words of President Ernest Bai Koroma during the State opening of Parliament on Friday 10th October 2008 in the well of Parliament in Freetown.
His Excellency’s statement has been greeted with different opinions from all sectors ranging from the contentment of the President on the energy sector to the President being proud of the Minister of Energy and Power, Haja Afsatu Olayinka Kabba, who is recently been scapegoatized for allegedly floating procedures in relation to the awarding of the Income Electrix energy contract for electricity supply to Freetown.
Another school of thought says President Koroma has claim responsibility in relation to anything that has to do with the return of electricity to Freetown. The Energy and Power Minister was also lauded by the Secretary General of the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) party, Victor Bockarie Foh over a UN Radio Tea Break programme on the same Friday of 10th October 2008.
"Hurray! Thumbs up! Thank you Haja Afsatu Kabba for making the president’s priority a reality. There might be procedural flaws as far as the contract is concerned, but I am of the strong conviction that they were done in the interest of the country," Victor Foh told the UN Radio, adding that even the Anti Corruption Commission did not indict the Minister for any corrupt practice.
President Koroma told parliament that his government has re-invigorated international interest in the country’s energy sector.
"The Government of Japan is supporting the procurement of 10MW power plant for Kingtom Power Station and construction of a primary substation at Regent/Hill Station," President Koroma said, adding that the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) is providing funds to significantly increase power generation at the Blackhall Road Power Station.
President Koroma disclosed that 98% of the Bumbuna Project is now completed, adding that stringing of the transmission lines from Bumbuna to Kingtom substation is anticipated in December 2008 and completion of the project in April 2009.
"Every sector in the country is endowed with hydro electric potential, and government intends to provide a mini hydro for all the district headquarter towns," he said, adding that feasibility studies have commenced for the Bikongor Hydro electric Project in Kono.
Reliable sources have intimated that the Income Electrix Company is presently preparing a robust statement
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.