NGC Boycotts Petroleum Agreement

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 By FeimaSesay

Hon. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella leader of the National Grand Coalition (NGC) in the Sierra Leone Parliament has on Tuesday 17TH November refuse to support the concession agreement between the Government of Sierra Leone represented by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Finance and All Petroleum dealers in Sierra Leone Sierra for the rehabilitation and refurbishment of the Kissy Storage Tank Project.

Speaking on behalf of the NGC, Hon. Kandeh said in his opinion, the agreement was not a good agreement, noting that the $25 million dollars tax concession was not good for the people of this country. “This agreement is not a good one, Honorable members this is an interesting proposal but I have a number of concerns to raise, we are concern as a party, but in general Hon. Speaker we get worry now that ministers signed agreements before bringing them here for us to ratify. This year alone, we have approved several companies with a lot of concessions. I look forward to the day that Parliament will take and look at it first and tell the ministers that look before you sign these agreements bring them here first. We will not support this agreement, it is a bad agreement” he stated.

Hon. Kandeh said, Parliament should not be in rush in signing the agreement, adding that the agreement had so many loopholes to be looked at. “We should not be in rush in signing this agreement, we are talking about a critical sector that has ended and has misallocation of incentives will destroy the market and the implications for a whole economy will be reduced” he maintained.

Hon. Yumkella strongly admonished his colleagues MPs to scrutinize before approving the agreement, pointing out that he tried to Google the company if they have a foot print in the industry but he sees none. “I am sure Mr Speaker you and I will recall that while we took mission in Nigeria and we were just giving a structural adjustment by the World Bank to creditor company here in Sierra Leone those days demanding petroleum and you and I went to Nigeria on trade mission and we checked that the company has no track record, I will not name the individual that was behind it but you and I know. And when we checked we were shocked we sent people to check the offices if do they exist, are they petroleum broken they were frauds. So some authority here when I say as a former minister knowing the sector a little beat myself that we should not rush” he reiterated.

“I did not see this company as a good company, this people should not be unfair. We have supported four major Bills here, standing firm, we also have the right to critic those that are not in the interest of the people when we think it is not right. The reality also is, for the past two weeks even though I have been helping when the minister responded to quote what I said and react to my questions. For posterity sake, we have made our point and it is clear” he cautioned.

Responding to concerns raised by the NGC party, the Minister for Trade and Industry Dr. Hinga Sandi said the agreement is good, noting that he cannot sign any agreement that was not in the best interest of the people of Sierra Leone. “The concerns raised by Hon. Kandeh were very much important, the tax concession we are having is created by existing Financial Act. Tax concession  we all know are actually meant to support  industry  growth, at this point in time we have understand that instead  of giving fish to somebody, teach them how to fish. We are bringing  this development  to hub the excuse which Sierra Leoneans have been yearning  for and there for prepare them for them job that is going to come out” he  established.

MPs from SLPP, APC and C4C contributed to the debate.

However, the agreement between the Government of Sierra Leone represented by the Ministry of Trade and industry and Ministry of Finance and All petroleum operators in Sierra Leone was ratified by the House of Parliament with the exception of the National Grand Coalition (NGC).

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 President Julius Maada Bio has handed over 70 fishing boats to support 1,400 youths who live in 40 communities across the 7 coastal districts of Western Area Rural and Urban, Port Loko, Bonthe, Moyamba, Pujehun and Kambia.

Giving an overview, Project Manager of the Youth in Fisheries Project, Joseph Lahai, said that the initiative established by government was to help reduce unemployment, promote self-reliance, economic diversification, nutritional upgrade and empower the youths in the rural communities to discourage youth migration.

Minister of Youth Affairs, Mohamed Orman Bangura, said he was pleased to be part of the handing over of the newly constructed fishing boats and its accessories. He added that the project was to empower and capacitate young people under the cluster of the Medium-Term Development Plan that sought to address issues of unemployment while also ensuring that the youth were self-reliant enough to contribute positively to the socioeconomic development of their communities.

“His Excellency, we appreciate your leadership, mentorship and the political will you have shown to help change the narrative around youths in the country. We appreciate the fact that you loathe corruption and love transparency and accountability,” the youth minister said on behalf of the beneficiary youth groups.

Deputy Minister of Finance, Dr Patricia Nyanga Laverley, said that the Youth in Fisheries Project was a presidential initiative established to support the government’s agenda as a means of reducing the unemployment rate in the youth sector and to promoting self-reliance.

”The project will adopt a revolving loan scheme to recover costs, fishing ponds and boats. Its accessories will be given out to youth groups with a clear understanding of repaying the loan to the Ministry of Youth Affairs, in a separate account distinct from the operational account. The revolving loan scheme will ensure that youth groups pay back the loans on a quarterly and monthly basis, as an agreed percentage of their quarterly and monthly earnings to the Ministry,” she said.

Before his formal handing over, President Julius Maada said they did not just distribute boats and walk away as some people had done in the past, but as part of his government’s commitment to Human Capital Development, the Project Implementation Unit in the Ministry of Youth Affairs had already started training fishing youth groups nationwide in entrepreneurship around fishing, sea safety, minor repairs to outboard engines, national fisheries laws of the sea, and the use of ultra-modern fishing accessories.

“This training will equip them with a complete skill set to ensure safety at sea, running and servicing fishing boats and equipment, and managing the whole spectrum of fishing as a business. This skills and training component will also have positive implications for the wider artisanal fishing community. The new skills will make their livelihood more profitable and more productive.

“And the figures matter. My Government has constructed 70 standard fishing boats with ultra-modern safety and fishing accessories for just under Le5.5 billion. Our predecessors put the cost of the same number of boats (seventy boats) for a similar project at Le14.8 billion. This says clearly that my Government believes in transparency, accountability, and value-for-money,” he said.

“My Government sees youth as an asset. To us, youth are agents and drivers of sustainable and inclusive development. Ours has been a coherent and integrated approach, consistent with our human capital development priorities, and long-term national development goals as outlined in our medium term national development plan.

“We seek to engage youth as stakeholders in making decisions about and building their own future and the future of this nation. We seek to invest in the priorities they identify and that are most germane to our national development goals, including mitigating climate change and loss of sea biodiversity,” he concluded.

MoPED Facilitates Donation of Computer Equipment to Disaster Management

The Minister of Planning and Economic Development (MoPED), Dr. Francis Kai-Kai has today 17th November 2020 facilitated the donation of computer equipment to the Disaster Management Department, courtesy of the ECOWAS Commission, to augment Government’s efforts in the implementation of Disaster Risk Reduction, capacity building and institutional strengthening in Sierra Leone.

The equipment, which includes: 8 desk top computers, UPS devices, printers, 2 projectors and 1 heavy duty photocopying machine was geared to further enhance the operational capacity of the national disaster management for data collection and overall emergency operations of the Disaster Agency.

In her statement, the Head of the ECOWAS National Office, Mamie-Miata  Johnny said the items came as a result of an EU grant to support African Regional Economic Communities strengthen Disaster Risk Reduction of their respective member states.

She noted that the delivery of the computer equipment was part of the ECOWAS Member States- ACP-EU program “Building Disaster Resilience to Natural Hazards in Sub-Saharan African Regions and Communities Program” and was delegated to the ECOWAS National Office for onward transmission to the Disaster Management Department.

Presenting the equipment, the Minister, Dr. Francis Kai-Kai said the equipment were a necessary boost for institutional strengthening and capacity, while expressing gratitude to the ECOWAS Commission for the support. He noted that the Commission has always been a strong pillar for its member states, especially during the COVID-19 response in Sierra Leone.

Dr. Kai-Kai admonished the Disaster Management Department to utilize the equipment for the intended purpose in order to ensure transparent, effective and a visible delivery process, while registering the immense commitment displayed by H.E President Julius Maada Bio in building disaster resilience to natural hazards in sub-Saharan African Regions and Communities.

Receiving the items, the Rtd. Lieutenant-General, Brima Sesay, thanked the ECOWAS Commission, through the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development for the donation; noting that the equipment would enhance the work of the department in ensuring an effective operational capacity of national disaster management in the country.

Other dignitaries in attendance included the Deputy Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Robert Chakanda, John Vandi Rogers, Director Disaster Management Department (ONS), the MoPED Communications Team, led by Alfred Kabia.

EPA-SL and Partners End Review and Update Process

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In fulfillment of the requirement of the Paris Agreement, the Environment Protection Agency of Sierra Leone in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Metrological Agency with funding from the United Nations Development Fund had conducted the process of reviewing and updating of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in the country.

The process was first conducted last week across the country with the final review and update process being done today 17th November 2020 at the New Brookfields Hotel in Freetown.

Like in the provinces, the process here in Freetown brought together participants from the private sector, government officials and the civil society all gearing towards bringing out climate Policy to meet the NDC targets of the country.

The NDCs as per requirement needed a review process after every 5 years and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is in the process of reviewing all National Commitments of Parties. The NDCs are actions which Parties to the Paris Agreement have undertaken in order to address Climate change issues.

“A Party’s contribution to address Climate Change is nationally determined according to its national circumstances and priorities” said Gabriel Kpaka, the Deputy Director General of the Sierra Leone Meteorological Agency and also UNFCCC Focal Point.

“According to the Paris Agreement, State Parties have obligations to prepare, communicate, and maintain successive five year NDCs and report information necessary to track progress made in implementing and achieving NDCs”, Kpaka said.

The Environment Protection Agency and the Sierra Leone Metrological Agency had been a nucleus towards addressing Climate Change issues in the county. “Sierra Leone has been experiencing the effects of Climate Change and as a result of that, the country made a pledge to address its emission in an effort towards addressing Climate Change issues” said Emmanuel Tamba Nyaka, EPA-SL’s Assistant Director of the Climate Change Secretariat.

The country had enjoyed good relations with the international Community towards addressing environmental issues.  “Sierra Leone is making significant effort towards addressing the targets and indicators sets in the sustainable development goals as well as addressing climate change related issues in the country”, said UNDP Abdul Katta. 

Katta said the government and its Partners together with the UNDP had made a significant milestone towards climate action and added they are “looking forward towards continued partnership with the government through the EPA-SL in ensuring resilience and zero carbon emission in the country”.

“Addressing access to information and communication technology to promote learning is a matter of urgency.”

Speaker of ECOWAS parliament

By Joseph Johnson

Speaker of ECOWAS parliament Hon. Sidie Mohamed Tunis has urged member states in charting the way forward in bridging gap in terms of access to information and communication technology. ECOWAS Speaker, Hon. Tunis, said the move will help promote learning in the West Africa region especially when the Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly 94% of student population in the world of which the most affected were middle income countries.

He is made the urgent call during a joint delocalized committee meeting on Lome, Togo where he emphasized the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had in the educational systems in history; stating it is affecting nearly over one billion learners in more than 190 countries globally.  The Speaker added that the pandemic did not only affect education but has also intensified the already existing education inequalities, reducing learning opportunities for the most vulnerable children, youths and adults, specifically those living in rural areas and persons living with disabilities.

Hon. Tunis further stressed the relevance of the joint Delocalized Committee meeting in Lome, Togo on the theme “ECOWAS in the era of covid-19 and beyond: focusing on information and communication technology (ICT) to promote distance education and training in ECOWAS member states,” which will be a signal in preparing the ECOWAS community in leveraging on the importance of ICT in promoting education and training. “With these innovations and as the world plans to chart out a post-COVID-19 period, we at the ECOWAS Parliament believe that addressing access to information and communication technology to promote learning, is a matter of urgency.” He stated.

Hon. Tunis continued that the Covid-19 has changed people’s ways of living, citing that even the ECOWAS parliament had to succumb to the news normal of having to do its second extra ordinary session virtually. The speaker was however quick to note that even though they should learn to live with it, yet certain aspects of parliamentary work, especially; oversight, plenary meetings, committee hearings and interpellations, cannot be done virtually. 

He ended by pledging the commitment of the ECOWAS parliament to working with Member States in areas related to Information and Communications Technology, Science, and Innovation to digitally link societies together.

In her statement, the President of the Togo National Assembly, Yawa Tsegan urged that parliament should move off its traditional role and take the lead in ensuring that member states surge through during and after the covid-19 pandemic. She applauded the ECOWAS Parliament for the joint committee meeting which will help in bringing out recommendations and solutions in achieving the said theme of the meeting.

The opening session was climaxed with the cutting of cake by the Speaker of ECOWAS parliament Hon. Sidie Mohamed Tunis and the President of Togo National Assembly, YawaTsegan in celebration of the 20th anniversary of ECOWAS which coincided with the meeting in Lome, Togo.

British diplomat Saves drowning student

Stephen Ellison, 61, consul-general in Chongqing, was walking by a river in a nearby village when the woman, 24, slipped on rocks into the deep water.

Footage filmed by onlookers showed her struggle in the fast-moving current, disappear under a footbridge and emerge face down, apparently unconscious.

Mr Ellison took off his shoes and dived in to save her. She has not been named.

Stephen Ellison said the woman was shaken by the experience but recovering.

The consul general, who takes part in triathlons, turned the student over, lifted her face clear of the water and swam backwards to the steep sided riverbank.

“She was unconscious, she was not breathing and for a short time we feared the worst. But as we got back to the side, she started breathing again,” he told the BBC of the rescue, which took place on Saturday morning.

The diplomat held onto a lifebuoy attached to a rope that had been thrown towards him by passers-by, who then pulled the woman to safety. Mr Ellison swam round to shallower rocks and climbed out. He was given dry clothes and warm drinks by grateful villagers.

He said the student, who is from Wuhan and attends Chongqing University, was shaken by the experience and recovering slowly.

But she was extremely grateful and has invited him to dinner with her family next weekend.

Mr Ellison, originally from Newcastle, is head of the British mission in Chongqing – where his role is primarily to support bilateral trade links between Britain and China.

ACC AND NaCSA SIGN ANOTHER MOU FOR ‘GIE TRENK’ PROJECT

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The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA),have on Friday 13th November 2020, signed an addendum Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to further strengthen the existing relationship between the two institutions.

The MoU is also meant to help the ACC provide support to NaCSA in the implementation of the Sierra Leone Community Driven Development Project, (SLCDDP) also known as ‘GieTrenk’, supported by the Islamic Development Bank.

It could be recalled that the inclusion of the ACC in the World Bank-supported Social Safety Net (SSN) Project has helped to the successful implementation of the project, something the two institutions want to see replicated in the SLCDD Project.

Speaking at the event, the Deputy Commissioner of ACC, Augustine Foday Ngobie, said about a month ago, the two institutions have had discussions around the joint implementation of the SLCDD Project being factored into the already existing MoU between the two institutions.

He said the ACC was satisfied with the contents of the addendum MoU and therefore pledged the Commission’s unflinching support to the SLCDD project.

Like the SSN project, he said, the ACC will ensure that the SLCDD project succeeds in the interest of its beneficiaries.

In his statement, the Commissioner of NaCSA, Abu Bockarie Kokofele, started off by thanking the ACC leadership for all the support they have been providing to ensuring transparency and integrity in NaCSA’s operations, especially the flagship SSN project.

He said providing a grievance redress mechanism (GRM) component to major projects is becoming the vogue to ensure that beneficiaries have an opportunity to participate fully in issues that affect them under the project.

He made reference to the GRM component of the SSN project, which the ACC has effectively handled over the years; something, he said has helped to maintain donor confidence.

Senior Director, Monitoring and Evaluation, NaCSA, Dr. Susan Robert, said the relationship between NaCSA and the ACC has spanned for a long time referencing the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS), through to the implementation of the SSN Project.

Earlier, the SSN/GRM Coordinator at the ACC, Patrick Monrovia, who also chaired the short programme, spoke on the massive results the two institutions have achieved from their collaboration in the SSN project; something he said will be extended to the SLCDD project.

The high point of the ceremony was the signing of the addendum to the MoU by the Deputy Commissioner of ACC, Augustine Foday Ngobie and the Commissioner of NaCSA, Abu Bokarie Kokofele.

Ambassador Felix Koroma call for Enactment of Dual Citizenship Bill

As the dual citizenship bill is being tabled in parliament, the former Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations, Felix A.Koroma has called on government and all opposition members in parliament to support the motion for the Dual Citizenship Bill to be passed into law.

The Ambassador emphasized that the time is now or never. He intimated this press that one of the reasons why the progress of our nation has been forestall is that many viable and outstanding Sierra Leonean who are equally competent and committed in transforming the nation are outside the country.

He further explained that many of our citizens left the country as a result of the war, to further their education, for economic reasons, to unite with their families etc.

The Ambassador said that being once a Sierra Leonean Ambassador in the diaspora, he has spoke and he is still speaking with lots of Sierra Leonean in and out of the diaspora and as such he is well informed to speak on this issue.

He emphasized that after a long and tireless work in the Diaspora, many of tesefloks wants to return home and give back to their country. That is why he holds that the Dual Citizenship Bill is the gate way that will open the nation for growth and prosperity.

However, he noted that many locals especially the politician may feel a little bit of threat on this issue and may be tempted not to push the bill further. He encouraged them to note that led countries in the world are comfortable to give dual citizenship to foreigners and why should we not be comfortable to give it to our own. According to him those in the diaspora are not only our countrymen but also our major economic contributors. In view of these they are to be encouraged to be part of nation building.

Furtherance to his advocacy, the Ambassador informed this press that he is currently working with a team of lawyers who will be following progress on the bill and take necessary action should the need be.

He further called on the main opposition members in parliament to take the lead in ensuring that this bill becomes law. At the same time, he hopes that the government will make it necessary to enact this bill into law.

AS CHILDREN TELL HER ORDEALS…

Government Projects Wage Bill Increase by 3.5 Trillion

By Fatima Sesay

The Minister of Finance, Jacob Jusu Saffa has on Friday 13th November 2020 informed parliamentarians that, in 2021 the Government wage bill is expected to increase by 3.5 trillion.

Minister Jacob Jusu Saffa made the disclosure during the presentation of the appropriation Act bill in the well of Parliament, an Act to authorize expenditure from the consolidated revenue fund for the services of Sierra Leone for the 2021 and for other related matters.

He further that the 2021 budget has made provision for a 25% salary increment for all military personnel and other security forces including the Sierra Leone Police for a period of three years, effective April 2021.

Minister Saffa also revealed that the 2021 budget states that staff of tertiary education institutions will

also receive a 25 percent pay rise, effective April 2021. The budget according to minister Saffa has made provision for an additional 1,000 teachers and

1,000 health workers to be recruited in support of the Human Capital Development (HCD) agenda of the President.

He further disclosed that provisions have also been made for the recruitment of additional military personnel

and a much needed Extension Workers in Agriculture and other Civil Servants.

Consequently, he said, the Government Wage Bill is projected to increase to Le3.5

trillion in 2021 from Le3.3 trillion in 2020, and of this, Le290 billion is allocated to Pensions, Gratuities and other allowances. Minister Saffa went on to state that, contributions to the Social Security Fund for government Workers will amount to Le250.8 billion.

He indicated that debt service payments total interest payments will amount to Le1.3 trillion in 2021, and of this, interest payments on domestic debt will amount to Le1.1

Trillion, reflecting the high stock of domestic debt accumulated over the years.

He said provisions have also been made to recruit additional military personnel and much-needed Extension Workers in Agriculture and other Civil Servants, noting that the Government Wage Bill is projected to increase to Le3.5 trillion in 2021 from Le3.3 trillion in 2020, of this, Le290 billion is allocated to Pensions and Gratuities and other allowances and contributions to the Social Security Fund for Government Workers will amount to Le250.8 billion.

“I am pleased to report to this Noble House that amid COVID-19 and all its accompanying challenges, 112 of the 159 commitments in the original 2020 Budget have either been completed or are on track to be completed by the planned dates. Also, 25 of the 28 commitments in the Supplementary Budget have either been completed or on track for delivery. This gives a delivery rate of 89 percent on the 2020 Supplementary Budget,” he said.

The Minister said Government has once again passed the Millennium Challenge Cooperation (MCC) scorecard, noting that in the 2021 Scorecard, which assessed performance in 2019 and 2020, Sierra Leone passed 13 indicators up from 11.

He said this is the highest number of indicators Sierra Leone has ever passed on the MCC scorecard, adding that the consecutive passing of the scorecard has increased the country’s chances of being considered for the MCC Compact that would make available substantial financial resources for the implementation of transformational development projects.

“Government’s commitment to implementing policies measured by the MCC is not merely about passing. We implement these policies because we believe they are critical for the development of our country and the transformation of the lives of our citizens,” he said.

He said at the Ministry of Finance, they consider a fiscal policy to be one of the key pathways to ensuring such transformation, noting that the overall budget deficit, including grants, as a percentage of GDP, the MCC’s standard measure of the stance of fiscal policy, was 8.8 percent in 2017.

He said following the adoption of fiscal consolidation measures upon assuming office, the deficit narrowed to 5.6 percent in 2018 and declined further to 3.1 percent in 2019.

He said the MCC score on fiscal policy improved from 4.0 percent in 2017 to 18.8 percent in 2020, showing marked progress in this Administration’s management of the nation’s finances, noting that they will continue to pursue prudent fiscal policies and implement radical but necessary reforms in their public financial management.

ORANGE CEO BAGS AFRICA .COM CXO AWARD of The Year

By Feima Sesay

The Chief Executive Officer Orange Sierra Leone the leading telecommunications in the country Madam Aminata Kane Ndiaye  has won the prestigious Africa Com Award as best CXO of the year 2020.

The CXO accolade is awarded to an Africa based telecom leader who is at the fore front of navigating their organization through industry 4.0 by prioritizing invitation, embracing disruptive tech and elevating the continent digital economy.

Therefore the staffs of Orange SL has on Thursday 12 November 2020 organize a grand awarding winning ceremony for their hard working, dedicated and resilience CEO Aminata Kane Ndiaye at their head Hill Station with host Love of dignitary.

Kadijata Jalloh secretary Orange SL in her opening address applauded madam Ndiaye on her award; she described her as an inspiration to not only Orange SL staffs but Sierra Leone at large.

“Your ambition, drive, objectives and goal to take orange to the next level is exceptional, you have made orange SL a force to reckon with in Sierra Leone and Africa as a whole”, she concludes.

Hilary L. Williams in his statement also on behalf of orange SL finance department congratulated the CEO on her award, stating that the award did not come as a surprise to them because they know the caliber of leader the company had and what she is capable of delivering.

He further describe her as some one that is resilience and hard working which he said is being felt by all the staffs, he reiterated further that they truly appreciate her leadership  at what she does.

He however urged colleagues employees to emulate her hardworking, commitment and dedication to the company.

Cecilia Mends Buah also congratulated her on behalf Orange money, noting that her hard work has spoken like a roaring lion and that the award served as an evidence.

She however crown by the staff as the queens of Africa.

The Chief Executive Officer Orange Sierra Leone Aminata Kane Ndiaye expresses gratitude and appreciation to all the staffs for celebrating her success, adding that the award she won would not have been possible without their support. “At the beginning you all taught that it was another company coming, but we kept telling you that we are here to last and we want to invest in you and we hope that this award shows that by investing in you guys this is what we can get”, she narrates.

Madam Ndiaye stated further that Sierra Leone has a lot of potential and therefore encourage everyone to believe in themselves so that Sierra Leone would become number 1 in Africa.

She reiterated further that without their support she could not have won the award or be able to do anything for the company.

” It is because of the trust that you put on me and on each other that we are where we are today, I  never thought in my wildest dreams that we can go that high but because of you all we have reach this far”, she said.

She also described orange and it staff as the best in the country and therefore encourage them all to continue to work together without any political or regional divide for the betterment of not only the cop may but the country as a whole.

Parliament Approves New Ambassador To Morocco And 2 Others

By Feima Sesay

Members of parliament have on Monday 16th November 2020 approved new ambassador to Morocco and two other Presidential nominees to serve as and deputy Ambassadors.

Making his submission, the deputy leader of the opposition, Hon Ibrahim Ben Kargbo said that whenever the Bio led government appoint or takes decision that is pro-people they will support it.

He said the nominees are qualified and fit for the positions for which they have been appointed to serve.

Hon Bash Kamara from Karene district in his contribution during the debate thanked President Bio for appointing one of theirs.

He said that the presidential nominee to serve in the capacity of Ambassador to the kingdom of Morocco is a fine gentleman who has served in various capacities and with the experience he gained over the years he will proudly deliver the goods for this nation.

Other MPs who contributed during the debate, appealed to the Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco to ensure that Sierra Leonean students studying there are well taken care of, as over the past couple of years, they have been encountering series of problems which they will want him to address.

Hon Hassan Sesay from the APC called on the Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco to tap into the energy potential Morocco has so that Sierra Leone will benefit from that huge potential.

The approved presidential nominees include, Ambassador Yvonne Alexanderna King, deputy Ambassador to United Kingdom,  Mr Attonmani Denkeh, Ambassador to Kingdom of Morocco and Mr Johnathan Saffa, deputy Ambassador to Liberia.

The #White Paper Project

By Tanu Jalloh

Magburaka: The Lab Technician Who Quit to Become Activist, Corruption Crusader in Tonkolili

After leaving Magbass Sugar Complex, one of the largest sugar producing plantations in West Africa, Ibrahim Bobby Bangura is now 10 years into campaigning around corruption and human rights issues in his native Tonkolili, north of Sierra Leone.  

He was talking about political accountability to the *#White Paper Project* in late October when he disclosed that he saw the need to quit his job, as a lab technician working in the steam boiler, to join the Centre for Coalition of Human Rights Activists, which is now supporting government implementation of the recommendations of the *#WhitePaper*.

When Bangura, 38, and his team are not campaigning on such national issues as corruption, which they also think amounts to human rights issues and injustice, they would be in the interior settling family, community or land disputes in places like MangayBana and Mokona in the Tenneh Chiefdom. 

“Today we have capacitated and empowered women to be bold enough to talk openly about injustices in their localities. They know and can now stand for their rights, in particular their right to land ownership. They now engage their authorities to be accountable,” he said on tape outside his offices in Magburaka, the capital and largest city of the district.   

Bangura said the country was stable and, therefore, any former government official who failed to account for his stewardship should be forced to do so. He added that people who were guilty of betraying public trust, according to the Government *#WhitePaper*, must not resort to whipping up sentiments and playing politics to insulate themselves from justice.

The *#WhitePaperProject* seeks to provide alternative narratives mainly genuine views from the everyday Sierra Leonean on the government’s efforts to fight corruption. In particular, it captures what people think about the implementation of the recommendations of the Government White Paper, which call for the full recovery of all monies said to have been misappropriated or not accounted for by some previous government officials.

Vice President Ends one-day visit to Njala University

The Honorable Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh has on Friday 12th November concluded a one-day working visit to Njala University on the request of His Excellency the President, Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio.

The Vice President’s delegation had included Ministers of Information and Communication, Internal Affairs, Minister of State in the Vice Presidents Office, Madam Francess Alghali, Deputy Minister Technical and Higher Education, Dr. Turad Senessie, Chairman Tertiary Education Commission, Professor A.M. Aghali, and the Resident Minister South, Mohamed A.K Alieu.

Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh was first received at Njala Campus, Njala University earlier in the day by the Acting Chairman of Court, Joseph Munda Bindi, the Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Osman Sankoh, Mallam .O. the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Njala Campus, Professor Mohamed Bashiru Koroma and other members of the Administrative and Academic Staff.

The Honourable Vice President later inspected the aging water treatment and supplies facility, the electricity powerhouse, and the burnt building  at Njala Campus.

Dr. Mohamed JuldehJalloh in the afternoon headed for the Kowoma Location which is host to the School of Community Health Sciences and inspected teaching and learning facilities.

The climax of his visit was the Towama location at the Bo Campus where he later addressed the Academic and Administrative Staff of the University.

Acting Chairman of Court who anchored the Program expressed his delight as Acting Chairman of Court to host the Honourable Vice President at Njala University.

He reported to the Vice President the numerous challenges confronting the effective functioning of Njala University and the strides taken on a daily basis by the Court to massage these issues.

Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Mallam .O. welcomed the Vice President officially to Njala University on behalf of the University and the traditional leaders.

He highlighted the contributions of Njala University to the President’s Human Capital Development and the Medium Term Development agenda and also expressed the deepest appreciation of his administration and students for the support so far received from the Government to boost the fire disaster response in both campuses on behalf of his supervisory Ministry.

Professor Sankoh also used the occasion to appeal to the Vice President and the Government of His Excellency to a plethora of issues confronting the University including; liabilities of staff retirees, lack of sustainable energy, and water supply, deplorable roads, inadequate and delayed subvention amongst several others.

He appealed to the Government to come to the aid of the University and expressed confidence that the Government has the wherewithal to resolve the issues he highlighted especially so when they have Human Capital Agenda as their flagship Project.

President Academic Staff Association, Claude Dimoh comprehensively took the Vice President through several issues ranging from violations of the 2005 University Act, challenges affecting the welfare of Staff and students, teaching-learning and research, and called for the Government to pay attention to HEI’s.

Mr. Dimoh pinpointed that the failure of the Government to improve the infrastructure at various HEI’s had the tendency to undermine the Free, quality Education flagship agenda of the Government.

Vice President Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh while responding to ASA and the administration disclosed that they are concerned as a Government that the Governance of HEI’s across the country had got fundamental flaws and needed a thorough and progressive overhaul.

He assured the University authorities that he has cataloged the challenges confronting Njala University into four namely: Staff and student welfare issues; teaching and learning infrastructural challenges and accrued liabilities and disclosed that Government will immediately look at the issues of energy, water, and the infrastructure facing teaching and learning.

He went further to express the desire of the Government to develop a sustainable roadmap together with ASA and the University authorities to resolve the perennial challenges confronting higher educational institutions in the country.

We will develop an Educational Trust Fund that will effectively handle the infrastructural needs of HEI’s in the country rather than relying on the classical budget, VP Juldeh Jalloh concluded.

ACC TO INVESTIGATE LANDS MINISTRY

BY FODAY JALLOH

The Anti Corruption Commission that is currently headed by Lawyer Ben Khalefa is expected to investigate, the Lands Ministry following an allegation of corruption levied against the ministry. The allegations were made with specific reference to the current minister of Lands, Dr Dennis Sandy who has occupied the substantive position twice.

The allegations were brought to the attention of the commission by a retired teacher who has rendered his service to this nation for over twenty years now and has been left out to struggle with life like an ordinary pooper in the street.

This man with document available to this medium shows that he has written several complaints to the commission, the then Officer in Charge (OC) in charge at the hasting police station, head of Complaint, Discipline and Internal Investigations Department (CDIID) police head quarter by then, who happens to refer the matter for proper investigation about the police officer Hasting police station, this was all about the conduct of OC Sheku.

This letter was minuted to the kissy police division on the 7th November 2019, a copy was sent to the supreme council of imams, the anti corruption commission Human rights advocate, voice of the Islam, even OC Sheku was notified with this complain.

The letter of complaint was acknowledged by the various authorities whose prompt action was expected by this poor teacher since November 15th 2019.

Despite the publication of this report the poor retired teacher is suffering from certain individuals within for state authorities to rescue him.

According to Mr. Mohamed A. S. Kargbo the retired teacher claimed that his land has been hijacked from him by one Dorice Samsumana using political influence. This battle for this piece  of  land collaborated with one Brima Lamin who works as a messenger, to  the director lands  Dr Farmer,  in line with the office of the ombudsman has also received a complain of this matter but up to now noting has been done to rescued this poor retired teacher. The man is calling on the ACC to swiftly look into his matter so that as a peaceful citizen his right will be upheld. The fight against corruption is one of the key priorities of the Bio led administration. This retired teacher who is within the age of seventy years now desperately need help to retrieve his property which according to reliable evidence he acquired the said land genuinely to enjoy after end of services.

According to evidence available to this medium shows that the leader for the NGC party Dr Kandeh Yumkella is aware of this advantage meted against him.

Briefing this medium the disadvantage man told this medium with documentary evidence that the first motion was lease to him by the Ministry of Lands, country planning and the environment, this letter of lease was sign by one Mr. Brima Rogers and Mr Sylvester Sesay. Sometime in 2006 up to press time this poor teacher is crying for justice as he is currently calling for the intervention of the anti corruption commission.

 

OVER WASCE RESULT ……

18YRS OLD PUPIL COMMITS SUCIDE

By Foday Jalloh

The criminal investigation department (CID) Adelaide street western police stations is currently investigating an allege case of suicide, committed by an eighteen years old pupil who has just sat to the West African Senior School Certificate WASSCE Examination in this 2020.

According to report gathered by this medium, the male pupil attends the Prince of Wales Secondary school, but had to be transferred later to the virtues International Secondary School in Freetown where he sat to the WASCE for the second time.

The boy used scratch card to see his result which he did not satisfy with as he passed all other subjects but fail mathematics, the boy went to the birth room put all CCTV camera off, use his belt to hang himself, after he notice that he has passed all other subject but he fail to passed mathematics, out of eight he sat to. As we go to press the police are still looking into the matter as the remains of the boy is currently at the Connaught hospital waiting for promotion.

The boy stays with his mother and father at 56th Berwick Street, Brookfield’s in Freetown. One sergeant Conteh is investigating the matter

According to report gathered at the resident of the diseased at 56 Berwick street, Mark ford Walker Johnson was a pupil of the prince of Wales Secondary school where he attempted the WASCE first later move up to the Virtues international Academy a private school, he sat again to the same examination but he could not attain a pass in mathematics, after using scratch card to check his result through the internet. The said child only take to mind because he is well encourage by his parent, before his death

The death of this boy occurred on Monday night after using the scratch card to cross check his result from the internet when he noticed that the subject he was trying to complete is fail, as the body is currently at the Freetown Cannaught hospital mortuary awaiting promotion, while the police CID department at the central police division is doing further investigation into the actual cause of the suicide by this 18yrs old boy.

           

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