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Massive stealing threatens Addax operations as 15% of project cost affected

By Abu Bakarr Kargbo:::::

Executives and other senior officers of Addax Bioenergy Limited are currently spending sleepless night thinking of whether the millions of dollars invested so far in developing a comprehensive ethanol and power production project will yield the expected dividend. During a visit to President Ernest Bai Koroma recently at State House by the owners of the company, what came out clearly was a bitter complaint made to the President that warrants his intervention. The meeting, which was supposed to by a friendly one turned out to be a sad moment for the number one Gentleman of the State who is running the country like a profitable business.

The company is presently on exploration and developing a solid sugar cane plantation that will be processed into ethanol for export to the European market. The company is also building its factory site and other processing plants, which will not only produce ethanol but also an effective and efficient power that will be supplied to the nation’s power sector.

Report reaching this press state that some ill-motivated individuals have transformed themselves not only enemies to the company’s operation but also to the entire nation, which is yearning for more investment opportunities. During the Festive Season when most Senior Officers were on vacation out of the country, these ill-motivated individuals resort to stealing properties that has cost the project some 15% loss on cost of equipment. Siphoning of fuel and other equipment like pivot used to irrigate the sugar cane plantation etc turned out to be the order of the day. This led to owners of the company to question whether the government and people in their area of operation are capable to provide them with adequate security.

 

President Koroma who wasted no time to condemn the ugly act, promised to meet the relevant stakeholders and the people to tell them about the need to protect investors and also their roles in making sure that the properties of the company are well protected.

During the occasion marking the graduation of farmers that have completed training in the Farmer Field and Life Schools Program, the company’s Deputy managing Director, Jorgen Sandstrom made it clear that one of their major challenges is theft. He said this impedes the development of the sugar cane project and the ongoing construction work. He appealed to the people the project area to talk to their sons and daughters to stop the theft, as this has an adverse effect on the company’s operation.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture II, Lovell Thomas said it is disheartening to see the company suffering from the hands of bad people in the project area. He added that even though Addax has done much in terms of community development, yet the people cannot protect the properties of the company. The Deputy Minister admonished the people to be on the alert in order to stop the few bad ones among them that want to destroy the entire operation of the company.

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