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PEC CEO apologises to Energy Minister

November 28, 2016 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

 Chief Executive Officer of PEC-Sierra Leone has tendered his unreserved apology to Minister of Energy, Ambassador Henry Macauley, after publishing several articles in some media outlets pointing accusing fingers at the minister’s role in the Smart metre contract saga.

Following the unbundling of the defunct National Power Authority (NPA) in 2014, an expression of interest was advertised with the objective of the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) procuring the service of a competent firm to conduct a pilot study and propose an Advance Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system for efficient and effective revenue collection.

PEC Sierra Leone, an indigenous entrepreneur, was awarded the contract to carry out the pilot phase of AMI for a period of six months.

After the expiration of the contract, EDSA, Ministry of Energy and PEC Sierra Leone have been at loggerheads with regards issues relating to the installation of the smart metres.

For the past several months, several articles in newspapers have alleged that the Energy Minister had a hand in the termination of the metre contract to PEC-SL.

The Deputy Minister of Energy recently told a presser that the management of EDSA never had access to PEC’s revenue and metering management system, which claim the management of PEC denied, adding that a request for three EDSA staff to be trained in order to have access to the system was not adhered to.

However, a source within the Ministry of Energy told this medium that during a meeting on Monday (21 November) Mr. Malador Sowe, accompanied by two of his staff, apologised for all the ‘misleading’ information and allegations published in different daily newspapers.

“We are sorry Mr. Minister,” Mr. Sowe is reported to have said and that he chided the ‘unprofessionalism’ of some media houses whom he claimed just grabbed the opportunity to write things based on what they heard without crosschecking facts.

According to the source, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs. Buya-Kamara, stated that the “unguided misinformation” from various media houses just to smear the minister’s image was very bad. She reminded the PEC CEO that it was the minister who took PEC’s proposal to the Board of Directors of EDSA and stood firm for it to be approved.

During the meeting, the source disclosed that the Deputy Minister I, Hassan Barrie, said he was shocked by the behaviour of PEC and their media friends, who could not even ask the Ministry’s side for one moment.

In his reaction, Ambassador Macualey said: “I started building my reputation as far back as in the 80s, which some people are trying to damage. So, I look forward to the repair work on the side of you who sent my image to be damaged by the media. The repair I suggest should be done by the same media houses.”

The PEC CEO is reported to have assured that he and his media friends would try as hard as possible to cleanse the minister’s image, adding, “Mr. Minister, for the fact that you felt disrespected, I will do all I can alongside my media friends that published allegations against you for the past three weeks to  clean your image.”

When contacted, Mr. Sowe admitted to Concord Times that he indeed apologised to the minister, but stressed that he did that not because he aided the negative publications in newspapers but he was being respectful to elders.

“Honestly, the minister is my elder and I must apologise if I did something to him that is disrespectful. I was taken to his office by my uncle, the Deputy Minister 1, Hassan Barrie, who had earlier prevailed on me to be humble, so I have no option but to apologise,” he said.

He added that his apology has nothing to do with the issue regarding their smart metre contract with the EDSA management.

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