KKY Calls 4 Gender Balance In Governance

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Hon. Kandeh K. Yumkella, the leader of the National Grand Coalition(NGC) in parliament has clamoured for gender balance by way ofpromoting a better female participation in politics and governance. In seconding the motion on appointments moved by the Leader of Government Business, he advocated strongly for affirmative action for women in the politics of Sierra Leone. He

DrYumkella encouraged the new Deputy Minister of Gender and Children’s Affairs, Mr. BuakaiBindiHindowa to support the ongoing efforts by women’s groups to (a) secure two parliamentary seats in every district for women and/or (b) secure 30% of all elected positions including in parliament for women. The latter will work effectively in a proportional representation system. 

In commending the newly appointed High Commissioner to Nigeria, Excellency Rupert Sydney Davies, Hon KKY reminded the House that as chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, his committee had proposed that 40% of ambassadorial appointments be reserved for career diplomats like Mr. Davies. It is critical that we enhance the professionalism of our foreign service and reward experience. With the complexity of issues like climate change, digitalisation and global security, our foreign service has to be revamped and strengthened to ensure that it is fit for purpose.

Pres Bio Launches Mineral Geodata

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“Ladies and gentlemen, this geodata launch and exhibition form a critical part of our government’s agenda to rebuild confidence and attracting investment into the minerals sector of Sierra Leone’s economy. This maiden event provides a perfect setting for long-lasting and meaningful investment in this country and for its development,” he noted.

Mr. Mattai also stated that Sierra Leone was endowed with abundant mineral wealth and natural resources but characterized by multidimensional poverty, but assured that the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources and his agency were working harder to see a turnaround and a much further inroad in terms of growth in the sectors with large investment potential.  

The outgoing World Bank Country Manager, Gayle Martin, commended the government of Sierra Leone under the leadership of President Bio for the progress that led to the event of the launch of GeoData and Exhibition, saying that critical to the post-Covid-19 recovery was the extractive sector, which she said if managed well would transform Sierra Leone’s economy.

She also noted that the GeoData was financed by the World Bank because they knew it would help lift people out of poverty, saying that the data would not only support the mining sector but would also help other areas necessary for national development.

“Under the able leadership of President Bio, the government has embarked on a growth strategy that focuses on economic diversification. Economic diversification does not mean moving away from extractives, but rather to optimise the growth in other sectors to protect the economy from negative shocks”, Gayle noted.

Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Musa Timothy Kabba, said that he was grateful to the President for the confidence reposed in him to serve in the ministry, saying that they had taken huge steps by acquiring the geological data which would be critical for the optimisation of benefits from the minerals sector.

He further stated that the geodata would serve a useful function in guiding government’s decision relevant to the exploitation of mineral wealth, adding that they were critical in shaping government’s strategy in transitioning from a first-come-first-serve system for the award of mineral right to a competitive bidding system.

“With this launch, Your Excellency, Sierra Leone has once again demonstrated, under your leadership, that it is a competitive destination in Africa for investment in the mines and minerals sector,” he noted.

In his keynote address, President Bio said that: “I am not here to do a symbolic launch and walk away to my office. I am here to speak to friends, partners, and potential investors present and not present. I am here to share with you what we have done about the mining sector over the last three years.”

The President also stressed that he was at the event to listen very keenly to people’s thoughts, ideas, and experiences.

“I want to assure you that we will create even more opportunities to sit down and talk; to think together; to cooperate; to reach consensus; and to work together to further develop the extractives sector and make it even more viable for investors and their shareholders, the Government, communities, and the country as a whole.

“As I have always said, I want that relationship to be built on mutual trust with all parties being transparent, patient, and clear about pursuing a win-win outcome,” he concluded.

Chinese CounsellorSets the Record Straight

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The economic and commercial counselor of the Chinese embassy in Sierra Leone,Du-Zijun have reacted to the barrage of negative press against a proposed fish harbor project to be financed by China, but which will be implemented by the government of Sierra Leone.

Below is the clarification statement by Du-Zijun.

Statement by the Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of Chinain the Republic of Sierra Leone Regarding

The China-aid Fish Harbour Project

I, Du Zijun, Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Sierra Leone have noted that some local and foreign media have recently published some false reports on the China-aid Fish Harbour Project for Sierra Leone on the basis of some unfounded social media news.

I find it difficult to understand this kind of groundless speculations, attacks and smear. I wish to make the following points:

First, it is an assistance project that the government of Sierra Leone has requested the Chinese government to help construct for the purpose of promoting the development of Sierra Leone’s own fishery sector. The content of the project is to build a fish harbour rather than a “fish meat mill”. It is a Sierra Leonean project rather than a Chinese one. The accusation about Sierra Leonean side selling 250 acres of land to China is totally groundless.

Second, the site selection and environmental impact assessment of the project are determined or conducted by the government of Sierra Leone in accordance with its own laws and administrative procedures. The Chinese side will decide on the establishment and implementation of the project after the Sierra Leonean side completes its relevant work. The accusations of not paying attention to environmental protection and destroying the ecological environment are completely sensational and hypothetical. It is an insult to the government and people of Sierra Leone to claim that the Sierra Leonean government is incapable of doing relevant work or does not consider the interests of the Sierra Leonean people.

Third, some people make relevant remarks about the project in the name of environmental protection. However, their real intention may not be to protect the environment, but to hinder the implementation of the project and thus hinder the economic and social development of Sierra Leone.

Fourth, some people indulge in criticizing and accusing China- Sierra Leone and China-Africa cooperation for one reason or another, but they are unwilling to contribute in a substantiated way to the economic and social development of Sierra Leone and other African countries. The Sierra Leonean people and the African people can see it through very easily. The China-Sierra Leone and China-Africa friendly cooperation will not be detracted by such groundless accusations.

CIBMAT Conducts Annual Matriculation

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By Mustapha Dumbuya

The College Of International Business Management and Technology (CIBMAT) has conducted its annual matriculation at the CIBMAT auditorium hall Ecowas Street Freetown.

Mr. Brima Turay the acting principle of CIBMAT college thanked and welcomedall those that are present at the ceremony and also congratulate students, whiles adding that gaining admission into the college is not an easy task.

The principal also said matriculation indeed is an important ceremony in the life of every tertiary institution all over the world and it is a day that was set aside to consummate the process of admitting students in to tertiary institution.

Mr. Turay asserted that on this occasion, fresh students are made to take oath of allegiance to constituted authorities and to commit themselves to peaceful living as members of the college community.

“Matriculation confers on the participating candidates, full membership of the institution having fulfilled all necessary requirements. Flowing from this, every matriculated student is entitled to all rights and privileges recognized by the college authority. Such right include, but not limited to: inclusion of the students in the college register, obtaining the college identity card, right to access information in the library, representing the college at different for a, participation in student union activities and the enjoyment of all other available teaching and learning facilities in the college” he said.

The acting principal pointed that as full members of the college community, it is part of your obligations to maintain law and order, pay your college fees and other charges, protect the college properties, respect the rights of your fellow students, report any criminal activities to the college authorities, keep the campus and lecture rooms tidy.

In his concluding statement he admonish students to shun all forms of social vicessuch as cultism, sexual misbehavior, indecent dressing, examination malpractices, thuggery, fraudulent acts and all other forms of violent which bring nothing but destructions.

Sheku Putka Kamara a senior media practitioner thought about the effect of social media that result the misleading and miss informing of people through social media.

Mr Sheku pointed that it the responsibility of every student and not only mass communication students should behave responsible on how to share information on social media adding that every student has the responsibility to always cross check and clarified every information before sharing.

He also said in Sierra Leone the Independent Media Commission is the body that is regulating every practicing journalist and have set the principle that journalists should not publish inaccurate, misleading and defamatory article without proper crosschecking.

He admonishing everyone especially some students whose parent only rely on them as the only educated person among, them that every information they share to their family will go a long way.

Emmanuel Ezekiel Mansaray faculty of procurement and logistics department student said he is very much excited for gaining admission to CIBMAT College and today is one of the happiest day in his life.

Mr. Mansaray also said that one of the main reason he choose CIBMAT is because he had confidence over the institution and the lecturers as they always ready to impact knowledge on them.

He express that as he is now a full student of CIBMAT he will make sure that he probe all reasonable doubt to make sure that he acquire knowledge that will be able to benefit him and his entire family.

He concluded by advising his colleges students to all works together and achieve a better goal in their future and also raise the name the institution in the apex level.

The program ended with climax where drinks and food were served to different students.

Amb. Hu appeals for fair reporting on Black Johnson

Description: Amb. Hu Zhangliang – Awoko Newspaper

Amb. Hu Zhangliang

Chinese Ambassaodr in Sierra Leone Hu Zhangliang has appealed to the media to be fair and neutral in their reporting on the fish harbor and the Black Johnson site.

Talking to this medium, the Ambassador said since the report came out about the fish harbor to be built at Black Johnson, he said the Chinese have been at the center of the report branding them all kinds of names and accusing them of wanting to destroy the country.

“I want to appeal to all please put aside geopolitics and western sentiments and the bias that some of you in the media have against China and look at the whole saga critically before blaming China. China has never asked the government for a piece of land to build a fish meal of a fish harbor anytime. We have enough fish harbor in China and we cannot come to Sierra Leone to build such for ourselves.”

Ambassador Hu said the fish harbor is just like all the other projects that they have aided Sierra Leone that nobody has ever complained about. He said Sierra Leone government wanted a fish harbor and all what China did was to put the funds together and then ask the government to provide them the land where it should be built.

“Since 1971 when China started supporting Sierra Leone, at no time that the Chinese government has told the Sierra Leone government what they want or where the project will be built. We first built the stadium and the then government showed where they want it and we built it there. Presently, we are building a military accommodation and the Diplomatic Academy. Both grants just the Same for the fish harbor.”

The Ambassador said the land spaces for them were chosen by the government and the military and we accepted and currently the projects are on. He said there is no complain or skepticism of substandard work being done by us the Chinese, when they did not choose the site for these projects.

Amb. Hu Zhangliang said it is the same way that the government choose the Black Johnson parcel of land for us to build the fish harbor that the report is being slanted that China wants to destroy the area.

“Please it would be nice for my friends in the media to investigate and ask the appropriate authorities why they choose Black Johnson for the project and whether the project belongs to China. We are just providing the facility for the government as we have been doing for 50 years that has never has any complaints. The Youyi building, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Jui hospital, Jui lab, and many more were all built by China as grants and the parcel of land were marked by the government and we came in and built the structures. So what is the difference today that we are being accused of wanting to destroy Black Johnson for our personal gains.”

He called on all to direct their grievances towards the government rather than the Chinese that are merely helping and supporting Sierra Leone. He called on all to stop vilifying China for merely supporting development in Sierra Leone and also made it very clear that all the projects they have done in Sierra Leone are the same standard in China.

Ambassador Hu averred that the stadium and Youyi building, the Mange Bridge that were built decades ago are still in full operations and there has never been any building default for them to be demolished.

“I do hope my friends in the media will look at China for what we are than using geopolitics and Chinese bias because of the West to judge us because we are genuine friends to Sierra Leone and Africa.”

SLP Launches 2020 Crime Statistics Report

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BY Feima Sesay

Sierra Leone Police (SLP) has launched its annual crime statistical report for 2020 as it marks an important development in the analysis of crime country wide. The event took place at the SLP officers Mess Kingtom.

Speaking prior to the launch, the Director of Corporate Affairs of the Sierra Leone Police, AIG Memunatu Conteh Jalloh disclosed to members of the press that the Police recorded/received over sixty three thousand cases all over the country in 2020.

She furthered that, Western Area has the highest crime rate than the provinces.

She went on to state that, out of the 63, 411 case recorded, Family Support Unit received over 12000 cases, which includes domestic violence, rape and sexual penetration, 4000 traffic cases received, murder 265, in the area of robbery they recorded 700 in 2018/19 but reduce to 70 in 2020/21 because of robust patrol day and night.

AIG Jalloh furthered that the drug abused was in the increase in 2018/19, but drastically reduced in 2020/21 because of the proactive work of the Police.

The report indicated that in 2020, a total of 63,411 cases were recorded countrywide and that the crime distribution across the regions in percentage shows that 3,884 or 6.12%cases were recorded in the Eastern region , 7,349or 11.59% in Southern region, 9,010 or14.21% report in Northern region and 43,168 or 68.08% report in Western Area..

According to her, a regional analysis of crime for 2020 was prepared to identified areas that were prone to criminal activities and that the report shows that the crime rate for Western Area was 2.53% which is the highest whiles Eastern region reported the less.

She said in 2019, the crime rate was 0.96% but in 2020 it decrease to 0.78% due to Covid-19.

She further disclosed that out of 63, 411 recorded cases in 2020, the offences against the persons was the highest category with 19,048 cases followed by offences against property with 15,926, sexual and gender base violence offences with 12,830 cases.

She said, the Police need more bikes and vehicles so that they will go into the interior to do their work, especially bikes to enter villages were crimes are committed in order to bring perpetrators to book.

 Having said this, the Annual Crime Statistical Report for 2020 was officially launched by AIG MemunatuContehJalloh.

Kingho`s President Meets Maada Bio

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President of China Kingho Energy Group, Colin Ding, and his team have paid a courtesy call on His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio days after the country voted to ratify a port and rail lease agreement that will facilitate the export of iron ore.

“I want to thank the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources and the National Minerals Agency, NMA, for the launch, of the Geodata. This will help all stakeholders in the mining sector to truly explore the rich minerals of the country,” he noted.

Mr. Ding further said that Kingho would operate in the country bearing in mind all sector-related environmental hazards and precautions, adding that they would also support mining communities with basic social amenities such as schools, hospitals and with mostly what would elevate community people out of poverty.

“With your support, His Excellency, I hope that we will all work together for our shared values. I thank you very much,” he concluded.

In a brief response, His Excellency the President thanked the Kingho leadership for their visit and to share plans for the many actions both sides to the agreement had taken to restore the work of the company, adding that despite fear the company had started operations at an impressive pace.

”Thanks for not disappointing us. We now have a clear understanding of what Kingho is about and what they want to do, the revenue they will be collecting and the percentage of what the country will benefit from. We want to be able to add value to the raw materials and product of iron ore and we want this to be actualised in the shortest possible time. We will all work assiduously to achieve this plan,” he urged.

President also said that Sierra Leone and the China Kingho Energy Group were set to start a very successful business that would benefit both sides. He, therefore, assured that his government would ensure the enabling environment was provided for the company to operate in return the company too would give back to the environment through their corporate social responsibility.

President Bio Inspects Work on Military Mess

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His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio, on his way to work, stopped at Wilberforce Barracks to inspect the near-complete five-storey building comprising 104 rooms with modern facilities for single officers of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces,(RSLAF).

The contractors said the building would be ready for handing over to the government of Sierra Leone by August this year. 

The construction project is a result of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Governments of Sierra Leone and the People’s Republic of China, PRC, which included military aid grants valued at 50 million yuan ($7.2 million).

It could be recalled that the President in late December 2019 turned the sod for the project, emphasising at the time that the future of RSLAF was in the hands of the junior officers but warned that they must be nurtured and steeped in the military’s ethos, values, and traditions which could best be accomplished in the Officer’s Mess.

Murder Accuse Denied Bail

BY FeimaSesay

Magistrate HadiruDaboh has denied bail to murder suspect Charles Robert at the magistrate Court No3.Ross Road.

 The defense counsel J Cole Esq. representing Charles Robert in a murder case before Magistrate Hadiru Daboh of Court No.3 Ross Road, has pleaded with Magistrate Daboh to grant the accused bail on the basis that his client`s health is deteriorating and therefore needs urgent medical attention.

He made the plea when the accused Charles Robert appeared again before the aforementioned magistrate on a count charged of murder.

The defense counsel further informed the court that, the health condition of the accused is bad and he must seek medical attention and in the circumstance applying for bail.

After the defense submission, Magistrate HadiruDaboh, told the defense counsel that, the Pademba road correctional center has hospital and doctors that will examine the accused in order to ascertain as to what is wrong with him, and if there is any health threat, they will treat him.

Magistrate Daboh also said, the offence for which the accused is standing trial is a serious one.

He therefore refused bail and remanded the accused in custody until the 31 May 2021.

The accused is charged with a count of murder contrary to law.

According to the charge sheet, the accused Charles Robert on Saturday 10 April 2021, at No. 5 Canny Street, Kanikay, Cline town, Freetown, unlawfully murdered Eustace Cole.

The matter was adjourned to the 31 May 2021.

Lawyer Rashid DumbuyaHonoured

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LAWYER, Rashid Dumbuya a human rights advocate and a defender of marginalized and vulnerable groups have been recognized by the Christian community in Sierra Leone.

The renowned Civil Rights Lawyer during a spectacular and epoch making ceremony held at the Flaming Bible Church was crowned as an “Advocate for the Faith”.

 In attendance were Bishops, pastors and leaders of the Christian community in Sierra Leone among a host of others.

President for the Strategic Evangelistic Network (SEN), who also doubles as the first Pentecostal Bishop in Sierra Leone, Bishop Dr. Abu Frederick Koroma, while giving the award, congratulated Lawyer Rashid Dumbuya for the award and also for the good work he is doing for the religious community in Sierra Leone. 

Bishop Mike Obot, who recently was called to the Sierra Leone Bar and happens to be the first legal Bishop in Sierra Leone symbolically and gracefully, handed over the prestigious award to Lawyer Rashid Dumbuya.

Other key personalities were also awarded for their relentless and meritorious services rendered to the religious community in Sierra Leone.

Rashid Dumbuya is a lawyer by profession, a member of the Sierra Leone Bar Association, an Associate lecturer at the Department of Law, FourahBay College, University of Sierra Leone as well as an International Human Rights advocate and Public Defender.

He was a former Commissioner in the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone and currently serves as the Executive Director of Christian Lawyers Centre otherwise known as LEGAL LINK, an organization that defends the rights of religious communities and vulnerable groups in Sierra Leone.

Rashid holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Bachelor of Laws Honours Degree from FourahBay College University of Sierra Leone as well as an LLM Degree in International Human Rights Law from the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa and an LLM Degree in Petroleum Law and Policy from the University of Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom.

At his Christian Lawyers Centre (LEGAL LINK), established in 2018, Rashid, together with a dynamic team of legal luminaries, law students, human right activists and philanthropists are currently providing free legal services to the religious community and vulnerable groups in Sierra Leone.

In just two and half years of existence, Christian Lawyers Centre (LEGAL LINK) has not only become a household name but has also successfully represented and trained over 1,500 pastors on church registration and establishment, acquisition of land, estates and properties, labour and employment matters, church and court proceedings as well as other legal and compliance issues.

Today, through the legal support ensured by LEGAL LINK to the religious community, the lost dignity of religious organizations has now been restored. Religious organizations can now reach out to the Christian Lawyers Centre when in conflict with the law or when in need of clarity or advise on the law.

Over 500 religious leaders (Muslims and Christians) have directly benefitted from his legal aid support since 2018.

Remarkably also, during the closure of religious institutions in Sierra Leone as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, it was Christian Lawyers Centre (LEGAL LINK) that vehemently advocated for its reopening and further undertook a comprehensive documentary survey on the impact of COVID- 19 on religious communities in Sierra Leone.

Many vulnerable groups such as persons with disabilities, Amputees, war wounded orphans, older persons, abused children and women are presently benefitting from the legal support and services provided by Christian Lawyers Centre (LEGAL LINK).

Trade Committee in Parliament Concludes Oversight

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The Parliamentary oversight Committee on Trade and Industry, Chaired by Hon. Veronica KadieSesay, over the weekend, concluded oversight visits to business entities in and out of Freetown that are under the purview of the Committee.

The aim of the oversight was to get first- hand information on the activities of these entities and to ascertain whether they are in compliance with Trade and Industry, Local Content, Standard Bureau and PRA rules and regulations. In particular, the Committee visited and inspected the facilities and operations of Integrated Trade Services (ITS) Sierra Frozen Foods, All Petroleum Product (APP), Victory Enterprise, Vita Foam Factory and Fuel Stations.

The Integrated Trade Service (ITS) was established by the Government of Sierra Leone and subsequently approved by Parliament a year ago. The company’s mandate is to carry out destination inspection and exports verification in Sierra Leone with the view to ensure that Government realizes the required revenues from duties and taxes for all goods imported into and exported out of the country in collaboration with NRA.

Briefing staff of ITS at Gbalamuya Guinea -Sierra Leone Border, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Trade and Industry Hon. Veronica K. Sesay among other things acknowledges the role and responsibilities of the Trade Committee in Parliament and notes that it was approved by Parliament to physically examining and classified goods in collaboration with NRA to raise revenue for the Government. In light of that,    Hon. Chair notes as Parliament, they did a follow-up to see how the services are helping the Government to raise its much needed revenue.

Responding, Mr. FodayKallon, ITS Branch Manager, appreciated the visitation of the Committee and highlighted their achievements and challenges in their operations. Speaking on their achievements, the Branch Manager proudly informed the Committee that NRA’s hitting its previous year revenue generation was attributed to the intervention of ITS as it was able to generate more than twice compared to their predecessor.

He further disclosed that he is working in close collaboration with NRA Customs Staff and their Guinean counterpart at all times.

On challenges, he said they should be the first point of contact and not NRA in the process of evaluation of goods being imported and exported at the port at Cline town, Lungi Airport, Gbalamuya and Gendema in line with their mandate. He pleaded with the Committee to look into this misunderstanding and find a permanent solution to it in tandem with the agreement.

During the conducted tour, the Committee realized that the Scanning Machine, worth thousands United States dollars donated by the Chinese over seven years ago was at the Sierra Leone side of the border but has never been used.

The Committee, was very pleased with the work of ITS at the Gbalamuya border and encouraged them to do more not only in revenue generation but also in corporate social responsibility, employment of locals especially qualified women.

At Sierra Frozen Foods, one of the leading importers of different types of frozen foods located at the Ferry Terminal, the Committee made a conducted tour of the cold rooms all of which were stocked with frozen foods like Chicken, sourceages, eggs, meat, among others. The Committee was impressed with the impeccable environmental sanitation of the facility, the quality of the products, the state of the art cool rooms, the organization of the different products for easy access and identification and the transportation facilities suitable for the transportation of frozen foods.

The Committee’s other point of visit was All Petroleum Products that signed an agreement with Government of Sierra Leone for the construction and rehabilitation of fuel tank farms at the Kissy Old Terminal and construction of Mega Stations in the East and Western parts of Freetown with shopping malls. The Committee was satisfied with the progress of APP as at the time of the visit the company had completed the rehabilitation of 5 tanks and the jetty. The construction of the administrative building and other facilities were at an advanced stages and the Committee was of the hope that the company would be able to complete Phase 1 by June.

The Committee continued its oversight at the Victory Enterprise at Wellington Industrial Estates. The Committee inspected the machineries of the 100% liquor factory, examined the packaging system, storage facility and water and sanitation which were in good condition.

  The Committee inquired into the corporate Social Responsibility of Victory Enterprise and the Committee was impressed by the Enterprise’s work in the Wellington Community in building water wells, schools, among others.

Also in the queue of visit was Vita Foam Factory at Hastings which is producing modern foam mattresses and beddings of different sizes and for different people (able and disable). During the oversight, the Committee physically examined the pillows, foam mattresses (high and low density), beddings and hand towels and the Committee was appreciative of the quality of the materials. The Committee encouraged the Management of the company to consider extending the operation of the company to the provinces.

Guided by the Petroleum Regulatory Authority’s Guidelines for Petroleum Retail Outlets which outlines suitability requirements, approval to construct, license to operate, requirements for issuance of storage and sales license among others, the Committee visited fuel stations with different brand names in the Northern and Southern provinces with the aim to physically ascertain their level of compliance with PRAs Guidelines.

In all the fuel stations visited, the Committee was satisfied with the level of compliance of the managements of these fuel stations and in that regard the Committee appreciates them and extends the appreciation to the Management of PRA for effectively monitoring compliance by petroleum retail outlets.

Pakistan’s President Invites Maada Bio

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The special envoy from Pakistan, Dr Ali Ahmed Arain, has expressed felicitations and presented a letter of invitation from His Excellency Arif-ur-RehmanAlvi, President of Pakistan, to His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio in Freetown.

Before the presentation, the special envoy extended warm greetings from his country, its people and leadership, adding that he was honoured to present the letter on behalf of his president.

DrArain stated that President ArifAlvi would be glad if President Bio would honour the invitation, noting that the two countries had had a very great relationship and that the Pakistani soldiers, representing the last contingent of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone, served in the West African nation after the civil war. 

He also disclosed that their country was ready to help in areas of rice production, build the capacity of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces and to also invest in the mining sector.

Responding to the special envoy after the presentation, President Bio formally welcomed and thanked him for coming to deliver the letter. He also extended greetings to ArifAlvi and his people, adding that he would take the letter of invitation into consideration.

The President assured the special envoy that the country was open for development and especially to investors in the area of rice production.

“We have started producing our own rice, but we still need technical support so we can produce more,” he noted.

Chief Justice Receives Liberian Ambassador

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 Sierra Leone’s Chief Justice, His Lordship Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards has received the Liberian Ambassador to Sierra Leone Her Excellency, Mrs. MusuRuhle to strengthen bilateral ties at the judicial level.

The Liberian Ambassador’s visit was necessitated by an invite from the Liberian Chief Justice, His Lordship Justice Francis S. Korkpor, Snr, to his Sierra Leonean counterpart as a special guest to deliver a public lecture on, “The Law, Public Policy and the Economy.”

The purpose of the conference is to deliberate on pertinent issues affecting the rule of law, administration of justice and the economy of Liberia. The National Judicial Conference will commence on 7th June and ends on 11th June, 2021 at the Ministerial Complex, Congo Town in Monrovia.

“Thank you for receiving me, I am happy to be here to convey the said invitation and will be happy again to host you in Liberia,” said Her Excellency, Mrs. Ruhle, adding that, “we have various areas of partnerships and will be happy if we can extend this at the judicial level.”

She said Liberia and Sierra Leone have very admirable bilateral relationship and her stay in the country has so far been fruitful even though her tenure ends this year.

His Lordship Justice Edwards welcomed Her Excellency, Mrs. Ruhle and also commended his Liberian counterpart for organising such an enviable conference on the administration of justice by bringing learned justices, lawyers and other important personalities in the justice sector. 

He assured that the Judiciary of Sierra Leone would be ably represented to participate in the National Judicial Conference to help in the formulation of policies that will enhance the socio-economic growth of Liberia.

SLCAA Hosts LCAA Delegation

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The Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA) will provide a five-day (24th – 28th May 2021) Technical Assistance on Aviation Security and Facilitation to the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority and the Roberts International Airport (RIA) respectively.

The objective of the mission is to provide technical assistance to the Liberian Civil Aviation Authorities in a bid to enhance their levels of effective implementation in both areas of establishment and implementation of Annex 17 Aviation Security and 9 Facilitation ahead of their planned document-based Universal Security Audit Programme (USAP) – Continuous Monitoring Approach (CMA) in August 2021.

Nuah E. Padmore Head of the Liberian Delegation, on behalf of the Liberian CAA, thanked the SLCAA for the show of leadership within the Mano River Union in providing Technical Assistance Mission on Aviation Security and Facilitation.

“Sierra Leone has shown a high spirit of collaboration both within the Banjul Accord Group (BAG) and the Mano River Union (MRU). We hope so much to reciprocate same in future and we will emulate this excellent example,” he ended.

The Director-General of SLCAA, Moses TiffaBaio, on behalf of the Government and the people of Sierra Leone welcomed the delegation and expressed gratitude to Liberia Civil Aviation for choosing the SLCAA to provide Technical Assistance on Aviation Security and Facilitation.

“We are grateful for the fact that you would have chosen another West Africa country to provide you this assistance, but you choose Sierra Leone. This speaks a lot about what we have done and our relationship with our sister countries,” DG Baio said.

DG Baio further re-echoed the spirit of the “No Country Left Behind” initiative which ICAO has been supporting both at the regional level and state level to assist States to effectively implement ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and policies.

SLCB, AFRIMONEY RELAUNCH ‘BANK TO WALLET’ SERVICE

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A significant addition to the Bank of Sierra Leone’s vision of increasing financial inclusivity was made at the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank headquarters at Siaka Stevens Street on Friday 21st May 2021 when the nation’s biggest commercial bank in partnership with Afrimoney, a subsidiary of Africell, launched the Bank to Wallet, Wallet to Bank financial service on an updated platform.

Advantages of the service include being able to transfer money from a customer’s SLCB account to Afrimoney and vice versa.

As the country gradually moves towards a cashless society, another of the service’s advantage is that it allows customers using their mobile phones to pay bills, do money transfer, pay for goods and services, and make deposits and withdrawals without having to go to a banking hall.

SLCB Managing Director, Fidelis Turay recalled that the product was launched about two years ago.

Afrimoney needed to revamp the product and SLCB too was in the process of updating its infrastructure. The product  he said will be the pride of Sierra Leone.

Afrimoney he furthered is a life saver as most people have been using it to do their financial transactions seamlessly.

Mr. Turay expressed hope that the partnership with Afrimoney will continue and that the people of Sierra Leone will see the advantages of using thisfacility.

He stressed that SLCB was proud to re-launch this Afrimoney product, ending: “We believe the people will use it so that we will be able to bridge the gap between the banked and the unbanked.”

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