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Reading: Concerns Raised Over Negotiations with Kingho Mining Company for Pepel Railway and Port Management
Reading: Concerns Raised Over Negotiations with Kingho Mining Company for Pepel Railway and Port Management

Concerns Raised Over Negotiations with Kingho Mining Company for Pepel Railway and Port Management

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Sallu Kamuskay
By Sallu Kamuskay 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
Political Intrigues by Chinese Government Threatens Arise IIP $400 Million Potential Investment in Sierra Leone
Political Intrigues by Chinese Government Threatens Arise IIP $400 Million Potential Investment in Sierra Leone

In a recent publication, the Global Times Newspaper has urged the Sierra Leonean government to exercise caution as it negotiates a new lease agreement with Kingho Mining Company for the management of the Pepel Railway and Port.

The article highlights concerns over the payment of lease rent to the government of Sierra Leone “how much have they paid to the Government of Sierra Lone as lease rent for the use of the facilities?”

The report note that even with the new 20-year agreement about to be signed, Kingho have only agreed to pay US$1.5million a year as lease rent to the Government of Sierra Leone. That, again, is a ridiculous amount.

In 2021, the Government of Sierra Leone leased the assets to Kingho Railway and Port Company Limited. After two years, the Government decided to terminate the lease agreement with Kingho Railway and Port Company Limited on 10th January, 2023.

Before the lease agreement was terminated in January 2023, Kingho was paying a flat rate of US$1,250,000 (One Million two hundred and fifty thousand US Dollars) as annual lease rent to the Government of Sierra Leone. That amount has been described by industry experts as a pittance.

Several private companies have applied for the Railway and Port to be leased to them, for an annual fee, far higher than what Kingho was paying before their agreement was terminated in January 2023.

Global Times emphasises the need for government tread carefully and recognise the legally binding agreement already in place with ARISE IIP.

The Global Times has raised questions about the potential consequences of entering into an agreement with Kingho Mining Company, citing a lack of tangible benefits . The article suggests that the government should prioritize the interests of its citizens and evaluate the potential long-term impact of any new lease agreement.

Experts have called on government to note that, the on-going negotiations with Kingho for the management of the Pepel Railway and Port be put on hold until the issue of the lease agreement signed with ARISE IIP is fully addressed.
We cannot afford to undermine investor confidence by engaging in such illegal way of handling signed contracts or agreements.

The credibility of the Government is at stake. It is important to point out that, ARISE IIP still have a valid agreement with the Government of Sierra Leone, approved by the Cabinet to develop, expand and manage the Pepel Railway and Port. That agreement has never been terminated by the Government of Sierra Leone.

It should be noted that the only legally binding agreement currently in force for the management of the Pepel Port and Railway is the one signed between the Government of Sierra Leone and ARISE IIP. The Global Times emphasizes the significance of honoring this agreement, which was entered into to ensure efficient operations and maximize benefits for the country and its people.

ARISE IIP, a reputable international infrastructure investment platform, has demonstrated its commitment to fostering sustainable development in Sierra Leone. The company has implemented various initiatives aimed at improving infrastructure, creating employment opportunities, and promoting economic growth in the region.

The Global Times’ call for caution and adherence to the existing agreement with ARISE IIP reflects growing concerns among Sierra Leoneans about ensuring fair and equitable management of the country’s vital infrastructure assets. The government must carefully consider these concerns and act in the best interest of its people when negotiating any new lease agreements.

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Sallu Kamuskay is a Sierra Leonean communication strategist, fixer, blogger, youth organiser, event manager, spokesperson, and public relations expert. His work has been regularly referenced and published by national and international media and public policy institutions. Sallu Kamuskay was a child during the brutal war in Sierra Leone. Growing up in the midst of conflict, Sallu witnessed unimaginable abuse of children and gross violations of human rights. The horrors he witnessed during the Civil War had a terrible impact on him at a very tender age. But despite the shock of the war, Sallu never lost hope. He started on a journey of recovery, studying, and working for a better future. At age 15, Sallu entered into the world of activism and advocacy. Sallu Kamuskay was the Vice President of the Young Leaders Organisation, a member of the National Youth Council. The Young Leaders is one of the oldest youth-led organisations in West Africa. The organisation was formed by a group of young leaders, and launched by the then Head of State/President of Sierra Leone. Sallu was part of the group of young leaders who participated in and contributed to the establishment of the National Youth Council. The Commonwealth supported the training for trainers programme with line ministries and youth stakeholders in which key, representatives of youth council, student union and civil society/private sector youth platforms were engaged and empowered in the effective engagement and inclusion of youth. Sallu is co-founder and Executive Director of the Salone Messenger, a global multimedia and public relations firm based In Sierra Leone. Sallu has worked on various developmental and policy issues such as Poverty, Climate Change, Human rights, Child Rights, Education, Health, Gender Equality, Civic Engagement, Government policies, Information Communication Technology for Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, and has also been contributing to various global events and advocacy campaigns. Sallu Kamuskay is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Salone Messenger, a global Multimedia and Public Relations Firm based in Sierra Leone with the latest news and information, on top stories, business, politics, entertainment, and more. Sallu is working with a leading technology company in Africa, Techfrica, that has recently developed and launched a social media, messaging Supfrica with over 150,000 downloads on the Google play store in less than 4 days. He is the Adviser and Media coordinator for the App to give people the platform to connect and communicate to help shape their future with a very fast internet that allows users that live in deprived and hard-to-reach areas with poor internet facility to be able to communicate as it allows and stronger on 2 and 3 G network reception. Sallu has over 9 years of experience in youth engagement, inclusion, and coordination both at local and global levels, giving voice to young people and engaging young people to build a better world. He has served as coordinator for the Wave Alliance which brought together youth-led organisations who attended an international training in South Africa organized by the International Organization – Waves for Change. Sallu is working with the MLT, Waves For Change, and the Government to develop safe spaces for young people, with a view to contributing to the overall development goals of young people including health, as well as to community rebuilding. Sallu is currently the Programme Director for the Wave Alliance, which is a coalition of youth-led and community-based organisations that have successfully introduced evidence-based Surf Therapy programs to young people in communities, with a focus on mental health, peace building and sustainable development. Sallu is currently the focal point and face of Africa’s Faces Social media platform which is a global Social media platform that brings together people from across the world to share their moments, connect, share videos, and interact with friends giving more preference to excluded continents like Africa. Sallu Kamuskay has devoted his time to working for or contributing to a number of national and international organizations and companies, including the Techfrica Technology Company, United Nations, ECOWAS, European Union, Commonwealth Africa Initiatives. This work has led him to travel to a number of countries to contribute to global youth platforms. Sallu is the lead Coordinator for Peace Tour programme, an initiative supported by the European Union, Africa Union, ECOWAS focusing on uniting and empowering young people and local communities. Over the years, Sallu Kamuskay has been using his Techno phone to be able to tell stories, the phone he used to tell the story of Gbessay during Ebola who was admitted at one of the Ebola treatment centers after rumors that she had Ebola when the actual sickness was ulcer, she was almost abandoned at the treatment canter with no medication provided to her. She could have died. Sallu told the story via social media and was able to secure funding from the United Sierra Leone to buy her medication and advocated for her. She was later discharged and taken home, He did the same to a patient that died and was abandoned in the street, Sallu Kamuskay used his phone and shared the message across, the corps was later taken and buried. It could have been more disaster without his voice. The story of late America Stress 3-year-old daughter. The hero’s daughter was abandon after his father's death. He shared her sad story and was able to get a sister who has taken the child as her own and is currently providing her with educational support. The article of America Stress can be read on the link below http://ayvnewspaper.com/index.php/k2-categories/item/7350-america-stress-a-hero-to-recognize. Sallu Kamuskay feels the stories of Gbessay, America stress and that of many others need to be told. The media house we have cannot better tell these stories, they are better reporters than telling human interest stories. He created the Salone Messenger platform and brought together passionate storytellers to be able to tell these compelling stories.