Funding gap cripples security sector

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-Internal Affairs Minister

September 18, 2020

By Jariatu S. Bangura

The Minister of Internal Affairs, David Panda Noah, has told Members of Parliament that funding gaps were among the numerous challenges crippling the security sector.

He said the budget is very tight, as a result most of the items needed for patrolling across the country and procurement of uniforms could not be met.

 He said Le800million was allocated to them for the financial year 2020, which according to him, could not address the numerous challenges faced by the ministry.

“We do not have mobility to carry out our operations during the raining season. The National Fire Force does not have enough fire engines to carry out their operations well, and Immigration Department, as well do not have anything especially for those personnel working in the border communities. It is like a form of punishment for those personnel,” he said.

He complained that there is no vehicle for the Sierra Leone Police to enable them patrol around when arm robbery cases are reported.

He told the committee that there is no structure for officers of the ministry to monitor and supervise those agencies that are under the ministry’s purview.

“We have quick access personnel and we are trying to have police presence and also try to recruit more. Due to the shortage of personnel and the delay in paying those officers, we cannot provide MPs or senior officials with personnel,” he said.

Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Internal Affairs, Hon. Alusine Kanneh, said the committee is concern with the day-to-day activities of the ministry, thus noting that it was important for the committee to know the challenges of both the ministry and its supervising agencies.

He urged the ministry to provide security for each MP, thus making allusion to one Member of Parliament, Hon. Alhaji Musa Bambeh-Foray Jalloh, who was attacked by political thugs.

He called on the minister to explain the process of securing security for personal protection.

Also, the senior Policy Analyst, Umar M. Timbo, said the ministry is guided by  the national Constitution and other laws to help manage its operations and also other security sectors.

He said the strategic operation of the sector is to implement government policies especially those that border around security issues.