May 22, 2018
By Victoria Saffa
Sierra Mineral Holdings Limited (Vimetco), in collaboration with the Community Development Committee (CDC), has laid the foundation stone for the construction of a multi-purpose complex worth Le1.4 billion at Mosenesie Junction, Lower Banta Chiefdom, Moyamba District.
The ceremony attracted several traditional leaders, community elders, youth and women amid traditional and cultural performances.
During the ceremony, several residents, including traditional leaders, stated that the construction of the complex was the biggest tangible project ever supported by a mining company in that area.
In his welcome address, Paramount Chief Jibao Russell Nyama II said Vimetco, which one of the companies operating in the district, always responds to the calls of the community and performs their corporate social responsibility.
He noted that the facility would be owned by the five host mining chiefdoms, adding that it was being constructed at Mosenesie Junction because of its strategic location.
In his statement, Civil Engineer at the Moyamba District Council, Mohamed Mohai Feika, said the complex would be a modernised building with five compartments and three units embedded with several facilities. He disclosed that a unit of the complex would have a cinema and mini shop, conference hall with the capacity to host 1000 people, four office spaces for CDC, generator room and special boreholes powered by solar to provide potable water in the facility.
He revealed that the facility would have the capacity to hold a large number of people than any other within Moyamba District, adding that Vimetco was committed to bringing tangible development within it host communities.
“We do not have a big hall in this community to assemble people and this is just the correct need of residents,” he noted.
He continued that Vimetco was a leading bauxite mining company committed to development and the first company to have signed a CDC agreement in 2017.
On behalf of civil society, Sylvester Bob Carter, who also doubles as member of the Project Monitoring Team, said the project activities were overdue because stakeholders had been overwhelmed with several activities.
He applauded Vimetco and CDC for undertaking the project, adding that it was highly needed by the community as it would serve as the biggest multipurpose centre in the history of mining communities.
Chief Finance Officer of Vimetco, Abdul Bangura, said the company was committed to all infrastructural development within the four mining chiefdoms, noting that in line with the 2015 CDC agreement, Vimetco was the only company in Sierra Leone to contribute 1% of its sale revenue to the CDC account.
He continued that other mining companies were obligated to give 0.01% of their annual sales/profit to host communities, informing the gathering that Vimetco, through CDC, has allocated Le3.4 billion to undertake six projects in 2018.
According to him, each of the five mining chiefdoms was expected to receive Le400 million to undertake a project and the CDC complex at Mosenesie, which cost Le1.4 billion.
He further informed the gathering that the company was grappling with some challenges, yet pays out US$6.8 million per annum to the government and related government institutions on taxes and levies.