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EPILEPTIC SUPPLY: Power minister resigns

EPILEPTIC SUPPLY: Power minister resigns

Following weeks of disruption, electricity supply has been finally restored in most cities across Sierra Leone after a part payment was made for the $48m (£38m) utility bill it owed to a Turkish company, Karpowership.

The payment of the sum of $18m comes as the country’s energy minister, Kanja Sesay announced his exit from government, saying he took full responsibility for the crisis.

Most electricity supplies to the capital, Freetown, is generated from a Turkish ship floating off the country’s coast.

READ ALSO: ELECTRICITY TARIFF: All 481 Band A areas with over 20 hours electricity supply in Nigeria

Last week, Karpowership said it had severely cut supplies to the city, from 60 megawatts to 6 megawatts, citing backlog of unpaid bills.

Residents of the country’s main cities have been going for days on end without any power and hospitals have also been affected.

At least one infant has died because of a lack of power, while medics have been using mobile phones to provide light as they carry out procedures, Reuters news agency quotes a doctor as saying.

READ ALSO: Pay your electricity bill or get disconnected, AEDC threatens Nigeria’s presidential villa

“How do you iron your clothes, how do you make your food, how do you go to sleep? We pay our electricity bills so I don’t see why we should be forced to live like this,” BBC quoted a second-year engineering student in Freetown, Fatmata Gassim as saying.

Presidential supervision

Following the resignation of Sesay, the office of President Julius Maada Bio said the energy ministry would now fall under the direct supervision of the president.

Karpowership previously cut supplies to Sierra Leone in September over unpaid bills.

It is one of the world’s biggest floating power plant operators, with several African states relying on it for electricity.

In October, it briefly cut power to Guinea-Bissau, saying it had no option “following a protracted period of non-payment”.

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