“National Minerals Agency has limited powers”

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…Appointees tell lawmakers

January 23, 2019

By Jariatu S. Bangura

national
Hon. Mathew Nyuma, sandwich by Hon. Chernor .Bah and Hon. Dixon Rogers

The newly appointed board members of the Minerals Advisory Board, yesterday told Members of the Appointment and the Public Service Committee that the National Minerals Agency (NMA) has limited powers to carry out its functions.

One of the appointees, Abu Augustus Briama, said the mandate of the board was limited despite the process of reviewing the Mines and Minerals Act was in the pipeline.

He added that if the Act is reviewed, it would help change the lives of Sierra Leoneans.

He said the Minerals Advisory Board, like any other board, was very limited in terms of taking decision and that board members don’t have absolute authority to take decision on their own but make recommendations to the minister or the director.

According to him, the lack of absolute authority has made the agency not to function properly.

He observed that the board should have the powers to do what they thought was correct and that they should take responsibility on how their office should be run. He demanded that Ministers or Directors in those sectors should be subjected to the decisions of the board.

“I am very personate about the board and am sure I will take my expertise there. I am going there as a civil society representative, but I will also work for the government. I will be advocating for the people and the government, as I have the responsibility to work for my people,” he said.

However, Acting Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Mathew Nyuma, advised them to work in accordance with the people’s expectation, as they had served in better positions before.

“You cannot bring a change when you are outside, but now that you have entered into the system, I believe you can now make a better change in the minerals agency,” he said.

Michael M. Laggah also joined his colleagues on the proposal that the policies governing the Minerals Advisory Board needed to be looked into, as they were obsolete and needed to be reviewed. He promised to work hard in ensuring that the board governs itself.

The other nominees include. P.C Foday S. Faba- board member, Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation, Anthony M.B Aruna and Sheku A.T. Tamu- board members- Judicial & Legal Service Commission.