By: Abubakarr Tarawally (Intern)
As a way of providing a clean and enabling environment and adequate parking space for vehicles, Chief Minister, David Moinina Sengeh, together with other ministers, on Saturday embarked on a cleaning exercise at the Youyi Building premise, which houses most of the government ministries in Freetown.
During the exercise, Sengeh explained that the cleaning was part of President Bio’s Big Five (5) Agenda, adding that item four (4) of the agenda speaks about public sector reform and service delivery.
He said nobody can be inspired if their environment is dirty or not organised, adding that as a part of that reform, he, with other ministers, were ensuring that they perform that task.
He said the motivation was that they should take responsibility for their transformation.
The minister said collaboration is very important, especially when they want to achieve something, emphasising that cleanliness is necessary.
He noted that over the years, the Youyi Building premise has been like a garage, with scrapped vehicles packed all about the place.
David Sengeh said it should be they who should take responsibility for cleaning the Youyi Building, which shows that the transformation should continue not only there but also in Bo, and other places.
“To fix Sierra Leone, you do not need to sit in your office or your comfort chair. I hope this will motivate a lot of people. Today, over 20 ministers and deputy ministers, hundreds (100) of staff at various government entities, and many more youth volunteers showed up to clean the Youyi Building, which houses the largest number of public servants. Staff say for 30 + years, they have never seen the compound this clean,” he said.
He said the Sierra Leone Roads Safety Authority ( SLRSA) towed all the scrap vehicles that were parked in the compound since he had given them two weeks’ notice.
According to the Minister of Works and Public Assets, Dennis Sandi, the cleaning was a government initiative, and that they did it in consultation with the Chief Minister, which was why they were all there to make sure they clean the Youyi Building premise.
Dr. Sandi said all government structures and buildings of whatever kind, are under their direct supervision as a ministry, which was why it’s their duty to maintain those buildings, clean them, and make all of them attractive, as their mandate is to endure that all government structures across the country are properly taken care of.
He said what they did on Saturday sent a strong message that as people, maintaining and cleaning the environment, where one lives, is very important as cleanliness is next to Godliness.
He said they had started it for others to follow hence the Chief Minister, Minister of Local Government, Minister of Social Welfare, Sports, Water Resources, Fisheries, Finance, Attorney-General and plenty more, were all part of the exercise .
“That was to tell the seriousness of the cleaning exercises. I intend to collaborate with other line ministries, to maintain other government buildings.It’s not a one-man business, we are here hoping to collaborate with other ministers to make sure other people are motivated and to see the environment clean,” he said.
He said the president had laid a solid foundation with at least 30% of young people in his cabinet, which was why they were encouraging all youth to work hard as so someday, they can be like any of the ministers or even the president, who was once a youth.
He said the ministry’s next move will be to embark on extensive rehabilitation of government buildings and painting government structures right across the country.
He said by next week, they shall be moving to New England Ville since there are a lot of government structures there, followed by Sierra Leone Police Headquarters and finally, they shall find time to go to the province and do the same.
He encouraged other ministers to embrace the initiative, to clean government buildings, and that they should continue to work together to ensure that their office environments are kept clean.
He said cleanliness can attract investors and other personalities hence they should continue to put the country first above all else.
Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs, Patrick M. Gibrilla, said as young ministers, they decided to come together and put into practice what they intend to do.
He said they would embark on the exercise from time to time.