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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

‘Kenema district will be embarrassed with development’

…Chief Minister

June 29, 2021

By Yusufu S. Bangura

Chief Minister, Jacob Jusu Saffa, has promised that the New Direction administration would embarrass Kenema District with development in the next 10 years, and that they would put an end to the death and suffering of pupils and parents in Blama Town, Small Bo Chiefdom.

He made the above statement during the commissioning of two bridges and one culvert at Blama Town in Kenema District on Saturday, 26th June, 2021.

J.J Saffa said when he was serving as Minister of Finance, President Bio told him not to forget about Kenema district in terms of development, adding that they were recently engaged in so many development projects like the construction of bridges, roads, township hall, among others in the district.

“I want to promise the people of Kenema district that in the next 10 years the district will be embarrassed with so many developments under the leadership of President Bio, because you have worked and suffered for it so you deserve it. We will pay our attention to electricity, community centre and other areas that have been affected for the past three months,” he said.

He said last year, the parliamentarian informed him about some abandoned and dilapidated bridges at Blama Town, and that he promised to mend the bridges and later government provided 1.5 billion to the district council chairman to construct the bridges and culvert.

He said the local councils is the vehicle for development and noted that the Member of Parliament and the local council should always be in peace to push the government agenda forward.

The Chief Minister said they have received 40 million Leones grant from World Bank to strength and build the capacity of local councils.

“I am pleading with the people of Kenema district to be united because when we are united we can do better things. I also want you all to know that Kenema is a city that needs development like other cities and we will make sure that it continues to be a city under the ‘New Direction,” he said.

In his own statement, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Tamba J.S. Lamina, said the commissioning of the bridges and culvert at Blama town was a great achievement for Kenema District Council.

“What we witnessed today is the commissioning of bridges that were done by council through the support of the ministry of finance. The development will save lives and create impact in the lives of the people of small Bo Chiefdom,” he said.

He said when he assumed office, he completed a capacity assessment across  all regions, in partnership with development partners, and, after which they started building capacities in various councils.

Minister Lamina said they were engaging in local development that can develop economy because when they connect the people, they are developing the economy.

He said revenue collection for every council is key in terms of development because government cannot do everything, adding that financial management is critical towards their work because various avenues of revenue collection, market dues and every revenue that council collect should be spent appropriately and there should be accountability for those revenues.

He said moving the council forward is a challenge but that they believe that those challenges would be overcome because they are going towards the right direction to piping and strength decentralisation, as their mandate is to bring services to the local people by using the local councils.

“I want to advise beneficiaries to pay their dues and taxes. They should not escape it because council uses those monies to develop their towns and communities as local development is important. I also want us all to work with the council for development to be in every locality because it only peace that will bring development,” he said.

Paramount Chief of Bo Chiefdom, Mohamed Dhaffie Benya, thanked the government and district council for the development they have brought to his chiefdom.

He said over the years, during the raining season, pupils and teachers found it difficult to have access to their schools because they used to have wooden bridges which led to the death of many children.

He added that Kenema is the gateway to the east so they were happy for the development.

 “I want the government to always consider small Bo district as a vital force in the development of this country and I also want to thank the councillor, youth and children for their great effort during the construction of the bridges and culvert at Blama,” he said.  

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