As MDAs Sign Performance Contract… Bio Declares 3 Wars

 

One aspect of erstwhile President Ernest Bai Koroma’s state governance policy which his successor President Julius Maada Bio has incorporated into his ‘New Direction’ governance architecture in a bid to deliver effectively on his election promises to the nation is the signing of performance contracts with Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL).

Dilating on the essence of this governance strategy, Press Secretary to President Bio, Kekehtoma Sandy explained that the performance contract would serve as a means of measuring over time what the government is doing in terms of efficient management of the state and its resources.

Key achievable the President would be prioritizing, according to the Press Secretary,  is healthy, cordial and productive working relationship between Ministers and their Deputies, Permanent Secretaries and top Ministry officials in achieving defined goals, objectives and work targets.

As such, he said, the President’s performance contract would look at strategic leadership, fiduciary management in terms of budgetary prudence and economic use of resources, policy planning and the fight against corruption. Kekehtoma Sandi furthered that for the fight against corruption, MDAs are expected to set up integrity committees, adding that the process would be continuously monitored on a quarterly, half-yearly and yearly basis with the Vice President and Chief Minister responsible for inspection and grading.

Because of the lapses identified with the former President’s performance contracts, the Press Secretary said, this one would be monitored by the Ministry of Planning with all the MDAs required to submit quarterly reports that would have to be validated with reference to set benchmarks. He added that there would be no scope for false reporting and that inspection teams would follow up on the reports to validate their authenticity by looking for physical evidence of the submissions made in the reports.

The Press Secretary affirmed that the government remains determined and committed to continue fighting the three wars it declared on assumption into office against Indiscipline, Corruption and Poverty.

In the fight against indiscipline, he said, much he has been achieved, including the taming of Ministers from breaking traffic rules and regulations and reduction of clique activities through the efforts of the Internal Affairs Ministry and the Sierra Leone Police (SLP).

In the war against corruption, Kekehtoma assured that the President is ready to take the fight to anybody that stands in the way of the Commissions of Inquiry (COIs) in his determination to ensure democratic accountability.

He reiterated that a thief is a thief in line with his boss’s statements to the people of Kono district during his thank-you tour about corruption and his calling of former government officials thieves, which the opposition deemed as provocative, divisive and inimical to national cohesion. The Press Secretary stated that there is ample evidence and facts from the Auditor General’s financial reports to support his boss’s accusation.

Only those who are guilty, Kekehtoma said, are jittery. He made reference to former Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh’s patriotic call to former APC government officials to face the Commissions of Inquiry  and not be afraid if they know they did nothing wrong. As such, Kekehtoma said, the only remedy for those who his boss says have stolen public money meant for the welfare and development of the people and the state is to pay back what was stolen.

Corruption, he said, is a continental concern of progressive leaders such as Uhuru Kenyatta and Buhari. The COIs, he maintained, have nothing to do with tribe, region or party, but to address democratic accountability and to establish that anybody in authority must give account of his/her stewardship. And for anybody to think that he/she would be contemptuous of the COIs and refuse to turn up for investigation when called, Kekehtoma vowed that the government would use the full force of the state to go after any such defaulter.

On the war against poverty, the Press Secretary highlighted that through NaCSA, the government continues to render critical financial assistance to the poor and most vulnerable in 11 districts. The scope of the intervention, he said, is being widened with German funded cash for work youth empowerment project that has 3 components: developing inland valley swamps, rehabilitation of coffee and cocoa plantations, and garbage collection. Kono benefits from the project with construction of a network of 126 kilometer feeder roads for boosting agriculture and enhancing trade and travel.

The war against poverty, Kekehtoma said, is also being fought by increasing wages, salaries and allowances in the public sector in a bid to increase disposal incomes, adding that the government has complemented this by also raising the minimum monthly pension from a miserly Le25, 000 to Le250, 000.

These 3 wars, Kekehtoma concluded, would define President Bio’s rule.