January 26, 2017
Parliament yesterday approved the appointment by President Ernest Bai Koroma of Lawyer Sulaiman Kabba Koroma and four others nominated by various professional interests to serve on different boards of commissions.
Lawyer Koroma is now chairman of the national privatization commission (NCP), responsible for the privatisation and reform of public enterprises, amend certain laws relating to public enterprises and provide for other related matters.
His task among other things would be to look at the extant list of over 24 public enterprises slated for divestiture as contained in the First Schedule of the Act that established the NCP.
“This is no small task. It is huge but with the right attitude and a team of dedicated people, we will succeed,” Koroma told a battery of friends who had gone to witness the session in parliament.
The World Bank is one of the country’s development partners that are working with government to strengthen public private partnership (PPP) to ensure that private sector participation benchmarks are met.
It recently urged that all stakeholders should focus on project evaluation capability and to allocate more resources in capital expenditure as two of the main pillars that support the growth of the country.
When asked what he made of the position of World Bank, the new chair of NCP said: “I am aware of some of the areas of interests. I know, among other things, that the bank wants projects such as the extension of the berths and refurbishment of the infrastructure and the security situation at the ports be captured in the government’s PPP structure. We will look into anything that will serve this country well.”
Lawyer Koroma, who earned his law degree at the Fourah Bay College and went through Law School in Freetown, was called to the bar in 2003. Four years later, and after a great private practice, the young trailblazer started his public life in 2007.
In 2008 the barrister & solicitor joined the board of the National Revenue Authority (NRA) as a legal representative. He carried himself very well and was made acting chair of the board, briefly, before he became the substantive chair in 2013. Three years down the line, Lawyer Koroma would emerge as that superintendent under whose chairmanship the NRA undertook several reforms that paid off.
Opposition politicians in parliament cautioned him and said they hoped he would continue to work in the interest of the country and not party, noting that the new appointment was a completely different challenge to his administrative experience at the NRA.
“Part of the reason for my success at NRA, like with all other institutions I have worked and led before, was the fact that I worked very closely with the Commissioner General to achieve the targets they had set themselves all through those years. I just believe in teamwork,” he said, adding that when His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma invested his credibility and put his faith in the young people of this country, all he wanted in return was for the youth to make him proud.
As one of those young people who made this country proud, not only under the aegis of the president, but also because of his private and public service as a lawyer, Barrister Koroma was honoured, in 2014, with the Commander of the Order Of Rokel (COOR), a prestigious award for service to people and nation.
“I am very humble to have been recognized in that manner. While I dedicate that to the confidence reposed in young people by the President, I also want to say that he will always be bold to say he will be on the right side of history. We all should thank God for him. As God may have it, two years before the COOR, I was awarded the best lawyer by AWOL in 2012, a very credible body in the realm of recognizing people who have distinguished themselves,” he added.
Lawyer Sulaiman Kabba Koroma is not new to being at the helm of affairs in very serious national offices that provide leadership in integrity building and enhancing transparency in public life.
Between 2009 and 2010 he was chair of the Independent Procurement Review Panel (IPRP), established by Section 20 of the National Public Procurement Authority Act of 2004 “for the purpose of conducting independent administrative reviews on complaints and challenges on award decisions by aggrieved bidders in the procurement transaction”.
Because of the work they did at the IPRP that was set up to ensure sanity, fairness, accountability and transparency in the procurement process, donor partners like World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme had praised the need for its existence .