By State House Communication Unit
President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma on Tuesday 12 December officially commissioned and handed over the Port Loko Hydro Power Station (Bankasoka Dam) and the distribution network in Port Loko District.
The ceremony which was organized by the Ministry of Energy in collaboration with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China saw in attendance cabinet ministers, senior government officials, paramount chiefs as well as stakeholders of Port Loko district.
Delivering his keynote address, the president said the commissioning of Bankasoka is simultaneously done along with both Charlotte and Makali Hydro dams, adding that it was in line with government’s promise of transforming the country particularly the energy sector. President Koroma pointed out that no country will develop without energy as the sector plays a pivotal role in the transformation of any country. “This is not about theory, or dreams but rather visibly seeing the tangibles on ground,” he said.
He thanked the Chinese government for their support as it has helped to strengthen and deepen the bilateral ties between the two countries.
The Minister of Energy, Mr Henry Macauley said Bankasoka Hydro project is part of government’s energy sector strategic plan approved in 2014, saying that the ceremony was another box ticking in the country’s energy sector transformation. He stated that the Koroma administration has increased energy supply more than 500% since the APC came into governance.
In his statement, the Chinese ambassador Wu Peng said the project will contribute to the living standards and convenience of the people of Port Loko. He stated China’s commitment to strengthening the relationship between the two nations and described China as a reliable partner in the realization of the Agenda for Prosperity.
Mr Peng said the switching on of Bankasoka will attract foreign direct investment to the country and will encourage more Chinese companies to invest in Sierra Leone.
Chairman of the Port Loko District Council Hamid Munir Fofanah thanked President Koroma for the development strides in Port Loko district pointing out that the president has transformed Port Loko more than any other district.
Delivering his welcome address, Paramount Chief Adikali Mela said the event was another milestone in President Koroma’s development strides in the district.