May 9, 2018 By Jariatu S. Bangura
As Parliament yesterday approved the second set of 15 presidential nominees, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament urged them to make the difference in their respective ministries as many had occupied the same ministries before but failed to perform as expected of them.
On May 5 and 7, the Committee on Appointment and Public Service interviewed 15 presidential nominees.
Hon. Segepor Solomon Thomas noted that the country has no dearth of qualified people, but that the perennial problem is the manner in which they carry out their work in their different ministries.
“The institutions are going down the drains and Sierra Leone is still on the bottom line in terms of development. I advise you to go all out this time to do something different. I want you to know that I will be calling you as chairman of the Public Account Committee to give vivid account of your ministries.
“Many people had been approved here to sit in those ministries that you are all going to but we still have the same problem. This is not business as usual. The matters of governance should be treated with all seriousness as you were not nominated as a way of payback or compensation but to work in the interest of the country, therefore you should serve well,” he admonished.
He urged the nominees to work assiduously in the interest of the nation so that they would be remembered by posterity.
“You should make the difference. This nation has not benefited from all those that have served before. Many credentials have been brought here but nothing has been shown for those credentials. Go to the offices and make things well,” he said.
Hon. Paramount Chief Bai Kurr Kanabagro Sanka III of Tonkolili District, noted that despite the calibre of people that have been approved by the House since 1996, the country still grapples with abject poverty.
“With all the calibre of people that have been approved here, they are yet to bring peace and development to the country. Sierra Leone by now, with all the resources we have as a nation, would have been in the good records of the development index. We are expecting that the SLPP government keeps the country as one people,” he noted.
The traditional ruler urged the newly approved Minister of Agriculture to deliver as the time for politics was over; noting that now was time to perform.
He added that they should not rely on information given to them but should be going on ground to have first-hand information on matters that are of interest to the country.
“It is a pity that our staple food is still imported whilst we have enough and fertile soil to grow our own food. I am appealing that you go and perform well in the ministry. It is a big challenge that food production, deforestation, environmental protection and climate change should be addressed with immediate effect. I hope you will do what is good for the country and its people,” he said.
Independent Member of Parliament, Hon. Shiaka M. Sama of Constituency 104, Pujehun District, said the nominees should not only give report about development of the country on paper but it should be visible and felt by the people.
“Sierra Leoneans are good at writing and signing of reports but cannot go out there on the ground to check what is being signed. All the reports given or published are not reflective on the lives of the people. All I could say is, go and do your work. Talk to the local people and get first-hand information. Don’t be distracted by those that would be around you because all they want is your downfall,” he said.
He urged the Youth Minister, Mohamed Bangura, to work diligently for the youth of the country as there were many youth in search of fulfilment in life. “If you succeed, know that the young people of this country have succeeded and they all will be there to support you”.
On her part, Hon. Veronica Kadie Sesay observed that for the country to be a better place, it would largely depend on the performance of the ministers, hence she urged them to perform to the expectation of the people.
“You all here should know your term of reference, which means that you should do as expected and don’t overdo things. You are going there to represent the people and work for them, therefore you should open up your hands to everyone and be moderate in doing your work,” said the ruling party lawmaker.
Hon. Sesay also urged the Tourism Minister,Mrs. Memunatu Pratt, to revamp the Piracy Act and also boost the entertainment industry as it would showcase the image of the country, adding that there are talented individuals who lack support to showcase their talent.
Chairman of the Appointment Committee and Leader of Government Business, Hon. Sidie Tunis, said the Ministries of Agriculture, Mines and Mineral Resources, Tourism, and Economic Planning are very key in the president’s New Direction agenda, adding that all the ministers in those ministries should work very hard to ensuring that the president succeeds.
He said the nominees were interviewed on the criteria of their educational background, track record and related matters.
Meanwhile, the successful nominees include: Mrs. Memunatu Pratt-Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs; Joseph J. Ndanema – Minister of Agriculture and Food Security; Mrs. Nabeela Tunis -Minister of Planning and Economic Development; Anthony Y. Brewa Esq.- Minister of Local Government and Rural Development; Raymond E. de-Souza George-Minister of Works and Public Assets; and Mohamed Bangura-Minister of Youth Affairs.
The list also include Dr. Morie Manyeh -Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources; Mr. Andrew Fatorma-Resident Minister East; Abu Abu Abdulai Koroma-Resident Minister North; Mohamed K. Alie-Resident Minister South; Professor David Francis-Chief Minister; Professor Aiah Kpakima-Minister of Technical and Higher Education; Ambassador Foday Yumkella -Minister of Political and Public Affairs; Ibrahim Nyelenkeh-Minister of Sports; and Haja Isata Abdulai-Kamara – Resident Minister North West