P’ment asks Tourism Ministry to stand down
June 2, 2015 By Jariatu S. Bangura
Members of the Parliamentary Committee on Tourism yesterday stood down senior officials from the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs for their failure to present to the committee a comprehensive status report on their activities in 2014 and the first quarter of 2015.
Deputy chairman of the committee, Hon. Dickson Rogers, said the meeting was convened to enable committee members look into the activities of the ministry as per their status report, which he noted was not comprehensive.
He noted that Le2.6bn was allocated to the ministry for rebranding Sierra Leone but how it was expended or what happened thereafter was not stated in the report, adding that additional funds were allocated to the ministry which officials were yet to explain how they expended.
“This is not a status report as there is nothing that indicated the Le2.6bn for rebranding the country, neither the activities undertaken for the last twelve months. Therefore I request that they be stood down to Friday based on the statement I have presented in order for them to properly present the document,” said Hon. Rogers.
Chairman of the committee, Hon. Frank Kposowa, said they have a clear mandate to carry out a proper work, thus the committee would do it with all seriousness as they inquire into contracts given to contractors and whether duty waivers were granted for items which are now seen in the market, adding: “This is going to be a different relationship between us this time as our work has to be taken seriously.”
A member of the committee, Hon. Daniel B. Koroma, urged the ministry to look into the Loma Mountain issue at Koinadugu District, which is the highest mountain in West Africa, as the road leading to the touristic site is in a bad shape, although it is currently under construction.
Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary in the Tourism Ministry, Madam Brown, apologized on behalf of the ministry and promised that the concerns and submissions of the committee would be addressed.