More Appointments Soon

 

With the ushering in of President Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Wonnie Bio into State House with his accompanying “New Direction” state governance policy, comes also a change of personnel in both the cabinet and the higher strata of the civil and public service.

In changing the old guards, according to State House sources, the primary aim of the new President is to reform and improve the caliber of the state machinery in order to make it more efficient and effective in terms of its administration and finances that will enhance better quality service delivery.

In order to achieve this, the Office of the President last weekend announced twelve key senior cabinet positions, followed by the naming of new Secretaries to the President and Vice President as well as the Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service to help President Bio steer the ship of state in the “New Direction.”

The Office of the President is also reportedly expected to announce the second batch of cabinet ministers and their deputies whose expertise and commitment to President Bio’s “New Direction” vision could enhance the country’s growth and development out of the horrid economic state the new government claimed to have inherited from the past government.

It could be recalled that during his campaign, President Bio had noted that there were many government functions that were duplicated by two or more different departments, agencies and commissions doing the same work. He also noted that the size of the cabinet was too large and a waste of scarce financial resources. In changing the course away from that of the previous administration, therefore, President Bio at last weekend’s high-level economic policy formulation meeting between him, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) said: “We (the SLPP Government) promised a change in the ‘New Direction’ to the people, a change that will restore sanity in economic and financial management, a change that will provide quality service delivery to the people of Sierra Leone.”

Consequently, the people who he has appointed to help him are very crucial to whether he will fail or succeed in his self-given mission. In that direction, more cabinet positions the Office of the President announce include Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mines and Mineral Resources, Trade and Industry, Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS), Works, Housing and Infrastructure, Lands, Housing and Country Planning, Tertiary Education, Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Youth and Sports, among others.

The Office of the President will also in the course of time announce new diplomatic postings and changes in the leadership of parastatals and other agencies of government. In filling these positions, President Bio reportedly has a long list of very well educated, experienced and committed party stalwarts he can draw upon, especially those who stuck their necks to point to the short-comings of the past government and vociferously asked Sierra Leoneans to vote in the “New Director,” including the National Election Campaign Manager, DR. Alie Kabba, the indefatigable Editor of the SLPP mouthpiece, Unity Now, Abu Bakarr Joe Sesay, Kalilu Totangi,  who was a member of the media team, the no-nonsense National Publicity Secretary, Lawrence Lahai Leema, among others. There are stalwarts behind the scenes who also played vital roles in bringing the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) back to power, including Amb. Umaru Bond Wurie, Amb. One of the leading flagbearer aspirants and one time Chairman of the party, Mr. John Oponjo Benjamin, former Commissioner of the Natinal Revenue Authority, John Aruna Karimu, Amb. Foday Yumkella, former acting Secretary General of the party, Amb. Ali Badara Kamara, the National Chairman and Leader, Dr. Prince Alex Harding aka Bullet, Chairman Western Region, Hon. Manso Dumbuya, among many others.

At the end of the day, regardless of who and who the President names in his new administration, what is important for Sierra Leoneans, who for far too long have yearned for economic justice and social liberation, is to see President Bio’s policies work to bring about the much needed changes in the quality of life for over 70% of the citizenry who still live daily from hand to mouth, who want better education for their children and employment for themselves and money in their pockets.