DISGRACEFUL!…PAOPA GOVERNMENT CELEBRATES $9.5M CHINESE AID, LOOSES $400M MCC PACK*Mortgages Rail & Port*Black Johnson Beach (Fish Harbour)

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  • Wellington-Masiaka Road (Tollgate)
  • Tonkolili Mines
  • Fisheries & Marine Resources to Chinese

*Mortgages Rail & Port
*Black Johnson Beach (Fish Harbour)

  • Wellington-Masiaka Road (Tollgate)
  • Tonkolili Mines
  • Fisheries & Marine Resources to Chinese
  • Commentary!
  • By Ibrahim Alusine Kamara (Kamalo)
  • It seems that President Julius Maada Bio’s recent 5-day state visit to China has left his last hope for viable financial assistance to bankroll his government’s programmes shattered, so have the rumours making rounds in Freetown of late.

A Release dated Wednesday 28 February 2024 from the Press Secretary at State House, states “His Excellency President Xi Jinping has announced a ¥50 million economic and technical assistance, ¥20 million debt cancellation and 1500 tonnes of Food Assistance for Sierra Leone during a bilateral meeting with Sierra Leone’s President Dr. Julius Maada Bio who is on a state visit to China.”

The release furthers that “During the meeting, President Xi Jinping stated that President Bio was the first African Head of State to be received in 2024 and described the long-standing relationship between Sierra Leone and China as an efficient cooperation.
He highlighted various forms of assistance Sierra Leone had benefitted from China and expressed firm
commitment to supporting the President’s big five priorities. He commended President Bio’s leadership of African Union’s C-10 and assured him of China’s support for the African common position on the
reform of the Security Council.
He invited President Bio to the upcoming Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Summit this year, adding that “our relationship has been a fine example of Africa-China relationship”.
President Bio expressed gratitude to President Xi Jinping for the economic and technical assistance,
debt cancellation and food assistance to Sierra Leone. He noted that the relationship between the two nations dated back to 1971 and that the bond had transcended geographical distance.
He thanked President Xi Jinping for China’s support to Sierra Leone during the UN Security Council elections and assured him that Sierra Leone would support resolutions to enhance global peace and security.
“China has been a reliable partner of Sierra Leone. It is my conviction that this visit will deepen the bilateral relationship between Sierra Leone and China,” President Bio stated.”

However, Forex operators say all of this assistance put together is less than 10 million dollars ($10 million), stating that if the Bio government had defied the advice and instructions of Sierra Leone’s trusted and major donors and development partners such as the US, UK, and the European Union to do the right thing thinking China would take their places, he must now bow his head in utter regret!

Meanwhile, the talk of downtown following the State House Press Secretary’s release is how Bio and his paopa bandwagon may have become disappointed men over the paltry financial assistance.

The talk of town is also that since economic sanctions and travel bans were imposed on Sierra Leone and some Sierra Leoneans resulting from the failure of the Bio-backed Mohamed Kenewui Konneh-led Electoral Commission Sierra Leone to publish the 24 June polls by polling station, Bio and his government operatives have now shifted hope from democratic nations and largely leaned to the Chinese government for financial assistance to at least keep his government going.

Rumours have it that it’s because of this unwavering trust placed in the Chinese government that led Bio’s government to award many major contracts to Chinese investors, including but not limited to the Railway and Ports and Black Johnson projects.

Critics have also insinuated that even the proposed killer tollgate tariffs that were about to be implemented on the 1st of March 2024 would not have been pronounced if not to appease the Chinese investors with the hope that their government back home would be debiting a large chunk of Chinese citizens’ taxpayer’s income to the Bio government.

With the hope also that China, as opposed as they are to the US, UK, and EU would step up and take the onus of entirely funding the Paopa government, it is alleged Bio risked forgoing the MCC package, and even as the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Asad Ahmad Khan KC, was visiting Sierra Leone on an official visit, President Bio could not be present to welcome the high-profile International dignitary, but rather jetted off to China.

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