Chief Engineer of the Income Electrix Company, Mr. Samuel Asura Itopah on Thursday 16th October 2008 summoned a press briefing at the Sierra Leone News Agency (SLENA) to explain circumstances surrounding the contract to supply electricity to Freetown and that of the recent report issued by the Anti Corruption Commission.
The Income Electrix Company says it has not receive a single cent from the Government of Sierra Leone as far as the energy contract to Freetown is concerned, adding that they are of the strong believe that the ACC was misled to produce a report that impinges on the hard won reputation of the company.
It could be recalled that a recent report issued by the Anti Corruption Commission accused the Income Electrix contract of "faulty lines in a flawed and costly contract."
"We fully respect the ACC but after reading the recently issued ACC Report, we strongly believed that we have been unfairly treated," Mr. Samuel Asura Itopah says, while calling on the ACC to review its report after the commission would have accorded the Income Electrix Company the opportunity to be heard.
Mr. Samuel Itopah says his company was invited to fulfill the electricity need of Sierra Leone, adding that all necessary procedures, vis-à-vis submission and approval of proposals and issuance of letter of commitment, were strictly adhered to.
He disclosed further that the Income Electrix have intervened in several areas that are not part of its contract agreement to help savage the electricity problem in Sierra Leone even though they are yet to receive a dine from the contract.
"We came into this country with lots of good intentions to help a sister African country which is demonstrated in our out of contract interventions in the revitalization of transmission and distribution networks that we meet in a bad shape and provision of materials to the emergency power," he says, while expressing shock by the negative publication of the ACC.
"How can the ACC misinform the public that our contract is costly when ours is 200, 000 dollars cheaper than that of the Kingtom Power Station," he questioned, adding that their machines are new and fuel efficient compared to other electricity contracts in the country.
He also expressed disappointment over the ACC report to refer to the contract as dubious when the analysis of that report is only based on 3% of the entire contract.
"How can a contract be referred to as dubious when it constitutes a whopping investment of 25 million dollars or more and has been running for a year now without asking for a single cent," he questioned, while adding that the contract terms are very simple and easy to interpret.
He disclosed that the letter of commitment that the financiers requested for was signed by the Minister of Finance, David Carew, which explains government’s financial commitment to the contract.
He says the entire 25 megawatts is in Sierra Leone but blame the National Power Authority (NPA) and the Government of Sierra Leone for reneging on their responsibilities to provide operation space for the balance 15 megawatts which is presently stored at the Wellington Sub Station, adding that the diesel provided by the NPA for the running of the machines can only generate 4 to 6 megawatts.
He says contract has been renegotiated between April and July, which was long before the ACC report was compiled.
"The President set up a renegotiation committee including the Central Bank Governor, the Attorney General Serry Kamal and Finance Minister David Carew," he iterated, while adding that the ACC should have endeavor to do a thorough investigation to prevent the flaws in its report.
Meanwhile, the Income Electrix Company has written a strong worded letter to the ACC in connection with its report.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.