By Sall Tee Jay
Investigations mounted by The Times-SL has uncovered that the Government of Sierra Leone may likely lose five hundred million dollars investment, which has already been set aside by popular businessman Frank Timis.
Times-SL learnt that Frank Timis, who happens to be the owner of African Minerals, was said to have invested 3.2 billion dollars at the Tonkolili Iron Ore Project, an investment that created employment for about 37,000 Sierra Leoneans. The African Minerals’ operation in Sierra Leone was considered to be a blessing, as employment opportunities was then opened for Sierra Leoneans and encouraged foreign investments with the arrival of other foreign businesses. Timis, according to our investigation and documents now in possession of this medium, had a 75% shares on African Minerals, with Shandong Steel having the 25%. The sale of African Minerals to Shandong was done clandestinely, leaving Timis out of the deal, whilst Shandong Steel with the least shares, became the off-takers. This was well stage-managed to let Timis appear as an incredible businessman to his own disadvantage with the avowed aim of taking over his business.
The Romanian businessman was planning to file local and international lawsuit against the government of Sierra Leone over the way and manner he was unfairly treated, duped and frustrated on the Tonkolili Iron Project as well as the Marampa Iron Ore Project.
However, though he has a very strong case to make, he has again realized and this time round, wants to commit another investment to the tune of five hundred million dollars in the mining sector, which if approved, could help to alleviate the massive suffering, hardship and economic instability that is affecting our nation.
Reports from Senegal confirmed to this writer that Timis had a hand in the economic boost now positively taking place in Senegal; with his support to mobilize investors who came to invest over 22 billion dollars in that country. This can as well be replicated in Sierra Leone, if he is given the opportunity to come back and then forget about the lawsuit he intends to file against the country.
Sierra Leone is desperately in need of such investment, which will help to turn around the economy. The idea of obtaining loans from World Bank and the International Monetary Fund will no way boost any country. The policies of these organizations are at nothing other than exploiting poor Africans.
President Julius Maada Bio should be able to open up and have direct talks with people like Timis, engage him and look out for possibilities this country can benefit. He is at liberty to do it in his own way so as to go into an agreement that will be in the interest of the nation. The negative perception out there about the Romanian businessman should be ignored for now and try to engage him for the good of our country.
With five hundred million dollars, Sierra Leone stands to get and fix up many social amenities and as well overcome some of the existing challenges. Pumping such an amount into our economy at a very crucial time like this, will not only salvage the current challenges, but will as well save us from the darkness of poverty.
Mines Ministry and the National Minerals Agency must make good opportunity of this and ensure Sierra Leone doesn’t miss this investment package.
Credit Times SL