It has appeared that the National Minerals Agency (NMA) and China Kingho Mining has formed an alliance to the point of shipping out tons of the country’s iron ore without the approval of Parliament.
This was made known by the Leader of the main opposition party in the House of Parliament, Hon. Chernor Ramadan Maju Bah who informed the house that China Kingho Mining has made their first shipment of iron ore out of the country without parliamentary approval.
Informing the House of Parliament, Hon. Bah noted that they had an agreement as representatives of the people that the year 2021 should not be business as usual.
“Mr. Speaker we agreed that 2021 it should not be business as usual, but it seems that we have started on the same business as usual. Mr. speaker, I was shocked when I read yesterday that the first shipment of iron ore by Kingho Mining took place last Friday,” Hon. Bah expressed disappointedly.
He maintained that he saw it through a publication by Reuters, noting that there is no way Sierra Leone would ship iron ore without having an agreement ratified by Parliament which he described as being wrong.
“Under what terms and conditions did they do this? We do not have any detail; we do not know the quantity obtained from the ground; we do not know the conditions under which they are going to take over. They have not mined a single ore yet they have exported ore,” he disclosed.
He referenced Sections 40 and 110 of the 1991 Constitution which speak to provisions that even when the President delegates any treaty, convention or agreement or done under his authority it must come to Parliament.
He intimated that for Kingho to embark on their shipment, there might have been some conditions, financial or otherwise.
He stated that many things are going on which are not suppose to go on and that he will engage the Leader of Government Business after their sitting.
He emphasized that last year they raised issues on specific agreements of which one of them came to the House of Parliament and the other is yet to come before the House and called on the Speaker of Parliament for them to stop some of these things.
“Mr. Speaker the ore that was on the ground belong to the people of Sierra Leone and even though the people need the benefit, procedures must be followed,” he stated.
He urged the Speaker to demand that the Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources appears before Parliament to explain the terms and conditions entered with Kingho Mining.
He noted that all shipment must be stopped with immediate effect until an agreement is ratified with Parliament.
The Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Musa Timothy Kabba stated that the iron ore that was exported by Kingho was done on behalf of the government.
The National Minerals Agency (NMA) failed to respond to the issue when contacted by the New Age.