Sierra Leone’s Minister of Mines and Political Affairs, Alhaji Alpha Kanu has disclosed that there is plenty of oil in Sierra Leone that would serve the needs of the people of Sierra Leone. Hon Kanu spoke on Thursday October 8th at a regular news briefing held by the Ministry of Information and Communication. Sierra Leone is known for its potential in mineral resources like diamond, gold and bauxite, and the latest reports about oil discovery in the country is seen as good news for the socio-economic development of the country. However, diamond accounted largely for the country’s decade long civil war that saw the destruction of lives and property, and the maiming of innocent people. Over forty thousand Sierra Leoneans were killed during the country’s civil war.
Speaking to news men in central Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital, Hon Alpha Kanu said only one well has so far been dug but that its content indicate, the country has oil. The discovery of oil in Sierra Leone, Kanu said has helped in the upper bracket of a rich identity that should put us all above petty squabbles in the national interest. Oil has also been a major source of conflict in countries like Nigeria in the West African region and the Arab world.
There is sad story however behind the discovery of oil in Sierra Leone as it is confronted with problems between two companies coming to drill oil in the shores of the country and it is believed the Ministry of Mines may have a stake in the whole process of ensuring an enabling business climate for companies wanting invest in Sierra Leone in that regard.
Investigations revealed that one oil company, the Oranto Oil Company owned by a Nigerian has been getting problems with its Blocks allocated for government. According to investigations conducted by Newstime Africa the government of Sierra Leone, through some underhand moves at Mines ministry had taken ten percent of its (Oranto Oil Company) drilling base (Block 5) and given to an American oil company called Anadaco Oil Company.
This was almost the same situation that occurred between African Minerals –and London Mining in which the former Mines minister allegedly went to Romania and collected some kickbacks from shareholders of the former in order to give them outright concession.
This latest development regarding the Oranto Oil Company is reported to have angered some Nigerians who are seen as key important partners of business in Sierra Leone. Nigeria played a major role in bringing to an end to Sierra Leone’s decade long civil war.
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