16th December 2018
Finance Minister Signs $45M to Reactivate 2 Water and Agriculture Pipelines in Abuja!
By a press release (19/10/18)
The historic negotiation happened in Abuja, Nigeria's political capital during the West Africa Finance Ministers and Indian Government meeting.
Reports say the Sierra Leone Minister of Finance, Jacob Jusu Saffa successfully negotiated the reactivation of two pipeline projects in agriculture and water sectors which were about to be cancelled due to the failure of the last APC government to prepare proposals to access funding for these projects. (Photo: Finance Minister J.J. Saffa posed with IMF boss Christine Largarde).
And thanks to the SLPP government of President Julius Maada Bio, Finance Minister Saffa was able to negotiate the US$30 million project for Torma Bum and a US$15 million for town water supply project.
The Abuja meet was purposely to discuss the challenges and opportunities for strengthening cooperation between India and West Africa. The Minister of Finance, J.J. Saffa met with senior officials of Indian Government, Indian EXIM Bank and many other CEOs of Indian companies on October 8 and 9 in the prestigious Sheraton Hotel in Abuja.
The meeting, dubbed 'CII-EXIM Bank Regional Conclave on India and West Africa' brought together West Africa Ministers, senior officials of governments of India and West Africa countries, CEOs, diplomats and potential investors.
It was to specifically increase on FDI flows to West Africa from India and expand both imports and exports from all sides. Discussions covered investments in energy, manufacturing, education, agriculture, ICT and the environment.
Very important were the bilateral discussions the Minister had with senior officials of India, notably CR Chaudhary, Minister of State Commerce and Industry, Debasish Mallick, Deputy Managing Director, EXIM Bank of India, Harish Kumar, Chief Manager, EXIM Bank, Pushpesh Tyagi, Resident Representative of India Exim based in Cote D'ivoire and Indrayani Mulay, Deputy Director, International Division, Confederation of Indian Industry and Keshav Chandra, Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce and Industry.
Already, a US$78 million Transmission and Substations Energy project has reportedly been approved but await detailed project design. Minister Saffa further discussed preferential trade facilities with the Indian Government. Finally, Minister Saffa presented priorities of the Bio administration, education and training, agriculture, tourism and marine. As usual, he elaborated on the opportunities in these sectors and called on Indian Investors to come to Sierra Leone.
After the Abuja summit, the Minister left for Bali, Indonesia on Tuesday, October 9, for the World Bank and IMF annual meetings. He led a delegation of three officials from Finance, two from the Bank of Sierra Leone, two from the National Revenue Authority and three from NCP.
He met the World Bank Vice President, officials of Global Financing Facility, held discussions on human capital, signed a solar agreement with IFC of the World Bank Group and served as panelist for a few development discussion fora organised during the annual meetings.