Government Provides Cover For Jamal Shallop’s £2M Passport Contract

The New Direction Government Transition Team (GTT) Report of July 2018 recommends that the Net-Page Passport contract owned by Jamal Shallop worth over £ 2,195,360 be urgently reviewed.
But, the recent move by the Immigration Department to sustain the contract and price hikes for passport from Le 750,000 to Le 950,000 is meant to provide cover for the activities of Net-page in the country.
The GTT Report also recommends that Thomas De La Rue has been under contract with the Government of Sierra Leone since February,2000 to supply machine readable passports and their associated issuing system for Sierra Leone.
Jamal Shallop, a Lebanese businessman according to the GTT Report owns Net-page which provides Thomas De la rue services in Sierra Leone.
The contract by both parties was pegged at £ 2,195,360 of which the Government paid £ 1,680,641 upon signing the agreement.
‘’All funds from the sale of the passports were to be given to Jamal Shallop and Co. and the Government of Sierra Leone would earn only the Le 10,000 out of what citizens pay to obtain the passport application form,’’ the GTT report stated.
Net-page, the report continued, though has paid for the services, benefits up to US$ 100 per passport fee that citizens pay to obtain a new passport and the Government of Sierra Leone gets only about $ 1.25.
The public wonders why two years down the line we still have this bad passport contract around.
Government spin doctors have attempted to defend the government action noting that the termination of the Net-page contract would cause legal issues for the Government.
Currently, government is struggling with a number of litigations at various international arbitration courts after it has terminated several mining contracts.
What is sacred with the Net-page contract which was selfishly negotiated by the former Government.
A very serious Anti-Corruption ought to have looked into the Net-page contract to know whether it has actually gone by the dictates of the contracts which was to provide E-passports.
Reports have indicated that Sierra Leonean citizens have been delayed at most international airports across the world with a view to verify their personal details.
This should not be the case with E-passports which needs only to be scanned at the arrival of citizens at any airport in the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *