Liberia’s Energy Minister ‘Snail Pace’ Ending Agreements Causing Setbacks
Monrovia – President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is said to be getting frustrated with the slow pace on the part of Lands, Mines and Energy Minister, Patrick Sendolo in concluding major agreements that have significant impact on the progress of the entire country.
Some of the agreements include millions of dollars that should support important projects such electricity and other important programs in Liberia.
One of the agreements includes a US$144 million credit from India intended to expand transmission and distribution service of electricity in some parts of the country, four counties.
In classified communication from President Sirleaf addressed to the Minister obtained by FrontPageAfrica the President expressed frustration over the ongoing trend expressing disappointment over the slow manner in which the Minister is handling major agreements between the Government of Liberia through the ministry and other parties.
“This letter copied to others are concerned, is to express disappointment and frustration over the time it takes to complete the process that would improve our slow “implementation “ performance”, the communication addressed to Minister Sendolo stated.
Cataloguing the many agreements that are now stalled at the Ministry due to the slowness of the Minister, President Sirleaf stated: “One case in point is the long delay in finalizing the arrangement for the outsourcing by LEC of the distribution system in Ganta to a private Liberian entity. I understand that this arrangement will also extend to the other three countries that are benefiting from the ECOWAS Cross Border Project.”
“As you know we have obtained approval from the Cote d’Ivoire authorities to apply a preferential tariff that will reduce the cost per kilowatt hours from 14 cents to as low as 5.6 cents per kilowatt. Today citizens and entities are using generators at a cost of over 40 cents”.
Stalling $44 million credit
In other projects that are being stalled through the slowness of Minister Sendolo the writer of the communication mentioned a US$144 million credit from India indented to expand transmission and distribution service of electricity.
Stated the communication: “Another case in point is our inability to conclude the process for accessing the ratified US$144 million credit from India to expand transmission and distribution service”.
In other stalled arrangements, the writer mentioned the Dangote Interment of over US$2 million in reduced tariff on electricity and the Obasanjo Poultry operation.
The communication continued “Another case in point is the Dangote Investment which has dragged for over two years, denying the users the benefits in reduced electricity tariff and the country potential for value addition in local produce and in employment. Similarly, the Obansanjo farms which has invested over US4 2 million in a Poultry Operation is slated and threatening closure due to delay in concluding the investment incentives requested”.
President Sirleaf expressed that it is sad that the Ministry is very adept at moving at great speed in concluding talks and financial arrangement for the benefit of the country.
“It is sad that we are very adept at moving at great speed to conclude talks and financing arrangements abroad but unable to achieve the needed objectives from these efforts which is to deliver the planned service to the citizens”, the President declared.
The President warned the Minister to take a different track in the remaining period of her Presidency.
“If we are to achieve our objectives over the next two years, it is imperative that we take a different track. Therefore, Minister Sendolo, I instruct that you take full responsibility for bringing these pending matters to an expeditious conclusion, and keep me updated about progress and further actions necessary and expedient to achieve this purpose” Sirleaf mandated.