Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio Receives Reports of Commissions of Inquiry and White Papers, Assures Full Implementation of Reports

State House, Freetown, Thursday 24 September 2020 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has today received the reports of the Commissions of Inquiry and the White Papers and has assured that government will fully implement the recommendations therein.

“Government has carefully looked at the reports of the Commissions and the recommendations. The White Paper documents the recommendations the Government has accepted in the interest of the people of Sierra Leone. Unlike other Commissions, citizens are assured that this Government will fully implement all recommendations. I repeat, Government will implement all recommendations to the letter,” he said.

The reports of the various Commissions of Inquiry established by Constitutional Instruments Nos. 64, 65 and 67 of 2018 were officially published together with their white papers.

President Bio, who opened his address to the press with a short announcement of his return from a private visit to Lebanon in excellent health, publicly instructed the office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to effect the recommendations of the Commissions of Inquiry and “to recover all monies recommended to be returned to the people of Sierra Leone and to confiscate all assets recommended to be confiscated, and all other such penalties as recommended”.

He, however emphasised respect for the rule of law, adding that: “Persons and entities affected by the recommendation are guaranteed a peaceful and transparent judicial appeals process through which they can seek relief. So let me therefore caution every Sierra Leonean that the rule of law is supreme. Those who may wish to incite or engage in unrest and violence in order to obstruct the process of implementing the full enforcement of the recommendations will be subject to the full force of the law”.

“This is not the last of investigations into corruption by former leaders. The ACC and other law enforcement agencies are mandated to investigate issues that the Commissions of Inquiry did not have sufficient time to investigate. Investigations, arrests, and prosecutions for corruption will continue as long as they are permissible in the laws of this country,” he assured.

Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Anthony Yeihwoe Brewah, said that the publication fully complied with the provisions of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone and that the White Papers contained the reactions of President Bio’s Government to the recommendations in the report submitted to him. He added that the publication would not only satisfy the constitutional requirements but would also seek to meet the expectations of the general public as to the outcome of the Commissions of Inquiry.

“The Commissions of Inquiry were impartially conducted as the commissioners gave the persons of interests the opportunity to defend allegations that were made against them. Regrettably, the majority did not turn up to account for their stewardship. That notwithstanding, it is trite law that unchallenged evidence is good evidence, and so the commissioners held,” he said.

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Summary of Justice Biobele Comission of inquiries report presentaion.

By : JMAN

223 Bilions of Leones where Misappropraited by person of intrest($94Million) investgated by Justice Biobele

126 person of intrest investigated in his comission

84 indicted by Justice Biobele, they include

1 indicted former President of Sierra Leone ( Ernest Bai Koroma)

13 indicted Former Minister

6 indicted Deputy former minister

1 indicted CEO of National Ebola Response Center

1 indicted former secret to the former President.

2 indicted former Governor of the bank of Sierra Leone

1 indicted former chairman of National Comission for Privatisation

3 indicted Member of Parliment

10 Permament Secretary

1 former coordinating officer of National Election Commmission.

1 former head of case management Team at the Ebola operation Center

2 former Director General

1 former CEO of Small Medium Enterprise Development Agency

1 former Managing Director of Sierra Leone Commercial Bank.

5 of the former Director of youth project where indicted.

3 heads of Musicial groups in Sierra Leone. (Kolabo and others to refund the money giving to then back to the Government of Sierra Leone)

26 Person of intrest where Discharge.

5 Former Minister where discharge

10 former deputy minister where discharge

2 Permament Secretary where discharge

9 other person of intrest where discharge including

(a ) Kawsu Kebbie

(b) Chief Sadiq Kapuwa

(c ) Ibrahim Swarry of NPPA.

The most guilt of all indicted was Linkokwing university, that was not in the intrest of the people of Sierra Leone. Everything about it formation is corrupt.

17 person of Intrest on asset declaration where investigated by Justice Biobel they are

(1) Madam finda Diana Konomanyi

(2 ) Miatta Kargbo

(3) Ibrahim washinga Mansary

(4 ) Abdul linoux Koroma

(5 ) Minkalu Mansary

(6) Ahmead Kanu

(7 ) Alimmay Kamara

(8 ) Mabinty Daramy

(9 ) Bai Mahmoud Bangura

(10 ) Alfred Paolo Conteh

(11) Dr Minkalu Bah

(12) Alimmay P Koroma

(13) Mahmoud Tarawall

(14 ) Dr Richard Conteh

(15) Franklin Bai Kargbo

(16) Sulata Cooper

(17 ) Rahmond Saidu Kargbo

14 of the asset of person of intrest of unexplained wealth where indicted

3 Person of intrest asset Discharge

All person indicted who failed to declare there asset should serve imprisonment of Six Months or pay 30 Million leones, diffrent from the money they shoud refund.

All Person of intrest who declare there asset only one or twice have also be found guilt, but been discharge at least they try said the justice Biobele.

All property own by Person of intrest that is within there earning are discharge

All account own by Person of intrest within there earning are discharge and giving acess to them back.

All propery acquire by Person of intrest indicted with fund beyond there means of income , are product of unlawful and unjust enrichment , hence forth there property would be forfeited forth with to the Government and people of Sierra Leone

All forfeited property should be sold to any intrest person in Sierra Leone as a fair value, and the money should be remitted immediately to the consuldated revenue fund of the Government of Sierra Leone.

All funds in the bank account of person indicted that is beyond there means of earning must be forfeited to the Government of Sierra Leone, within 30 days from the date the recommendation are ratified.

In the event anybody fail to return or repay the money Government shall use all law within there power to confiscate all money own by that individual , either money in the bank account, or property moveable or immoveable including houses, vehicles, stock belong to Person of intrest, with the purpose of selling it, in order to pay the amount belonging to the people of Sierra Leone.

All person of intrest that failed to attend the the hereing of the Comission of Inquries are there by indicted and ban 5 years for holding public office.

All Person of intrest who are ban from holding public office, after there ban is finish should write an appology letter to the people of Sierra Leone openly and publish it back to various news paper, and copy justice department for it records.

It is my hope that the Government of Sierra Leone under the leadership of H.E President Julius Maada Bio would recover all stolen money and property and return back to the people of Sierra Leone.

And this recommedition would serve as a reminder to all Present Government Minister, Deputy Minister, Director General, Permament Secretary that corruption has no place in sierra leone any more and they should work purely for the benefit and intrest of the people of Sierra Leone.

Justice Atuguba call on all Africa President to emulate President Bio who never interfer with the work of the COI.

PLEASE READ THE FULL WHITE PAPER REPORT ON THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE JUSTICE BIOBELE COMMISSION OF INQUIRY BELOW

WHITE PAPER ON THE REPORT OF THE HON. SIR JUSTICE BIOBELE GEORGEWILL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY TO INTER ALIA EXAMINE THE ASSETS AND OTHER RELATED MATTERS IN RESPECT OF PERSONS WHO WERE PRESIDENT, VICE PRESIDENTS, MINISTERS, MINISTERS OF STATE AND DEPUTY MINISTERS; AND HEADS AND CHAIRMEN OF BOARDS OF PARASTATALS, DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES WITHIN THE PERIOD FROM NOVEMBER 2007 TO APRIL 2018.

1. The SLPP New Direction Government in its commitment and desire to eradicate corruption, mismanagement and indiscipline in the affairs of government, as well as the recovery of all State assets and properties acquired through unexplained wealth and unjust enrichment, by Constitutional Instrument No. 64 of 2018 published in the Supplement to the Sierra Leone Gazette Vol. CXLIX, No. 65 dated 1st August, 2018, instituted the Commission of Inquiry (Examination, Inquiry and Investigation) Notice (1), 2018 with Hon. Sir Justice Biobele Georgewill as Chairman and Sole Commissioner in order to:-

a) examine the assets and other related matters in respect of-

(i) persons who were President, Vice President, Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers; and
(ii) Heads and Chairmen of Boards of Parastatals, Departments and Agencies within the period from November 2007 to April 2018

b) Inquire into and investigate whether assets were acquired lawfully or unlawfully;

c) inquire into-

(i) persons who were President, Vice President, Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers; and

(ii) Heads and Chairmen of Boards of Parastatals, Departments and Agencies;

d) ascertain as to whether the persons referred to in sub paragraphs (a) to (c) –

(i) maintained a standard of life above that which was commensurate to their official emoluments;

(ii) owned or were in control of pecuniary resources or property disproportionate to their official emoluments or there are evidence of corruption, dishonesty or abuse of office for private benefit by them;

(iii) collaborated with any person in respect of such corruption, dishonesty or abuse of office;

(iv) acted wilfully or complacently in such a manner so as to cause financial loss or damage to the government, local authority or parastatal including a public corporation;

(v) acquired directly or indirectly financial or material gains fraudulently, improperly or wilfully to the detriment of the government, local authority or a parastatal including a public corporation, statutory Commission, body or any university

e) to inquire into and investigate any persons or matters as may from time to time referred to the Commission by his Excellency the President.

2. The Commission has submitted its Report on the assets and other related matters in respect of persons who were President, Vice Presidents, Ministers, Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers; and Heads and Chairmen of Boards of Parastatals, Departments and Agencies within the period from November 2007 to April 2018 and Government has since reviewed the Report and recommendations therein.

3. Government wishes to reiterate its commitment in the fight against corruption and public malfeasance as well as restoring decency, accountability, transparency and good government in the administration of our country.

4. Accordingly, it is hoped that public officers would learn from the findings of the Commissions of Inquiry.

Chapter Two

Investigation into the Ebola Response

Government notes the Commission’s findings (2.5, p38) on Miatta Kargbo; Madina S. Rahman; Alfred Palo Conteh; Dr. Donald Bash Taqi; and Steven Gaojia as they “… were involved in gross abuse of their offices in the reckless manner in which they dealt with the finances of the Government under their care and failure to provide leadership and supervision of the Ministry or Department or Agency put under their charge”, resulting in the misappropriation of Le85, 239, 738, 225. 94 and USD2, 471, 993. 41.

This money remain unaccounted for between the EOC/Ministry of Health and Sanitation; NERC, and their several Collaborators. For instance, BDO received Le316, 501, 686, 207. 99, out of which the sum of Le293, 103, 937, 677. 71 was spent on approvals by Alfred Palo Conteh as CEO of NERC for payments, leaving a balance of Le23, 397, 748, 530. 28 which has remained unaccounted for.

Also, there were supporting documents for only Le1, 964,950,000.00 of US$360,000.00 paid to sea freight of 4 Ambulances and the balance has remained unaccounted for by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation. In addition, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation paid the sum of US$6, 000, 000. 00 without supporting documents.

Mr. Steven Gaojia also insisted that Le7, 000, 000, 000. 00 and US$1, 183, 000.00 were withdrawn by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation but was not accounted for by NERC. Further, that a total of 254 Vehicles and Motorbikes out of the 702 Vehicles remain unaccounted for by NERC.

Government accepts recommendations 1-6

1. The following persons shall jointly and severally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le33, 643, 447, 070. 00 and USD1, 050, 000. 00 that were misappropriated and or had remained unaccounted for, namely: i. Miatta Kargbo; ii. Madinah Rahman; iii. Dr. Donald Bash – Taqi; iv. Charles Mambu, and v. Mohammed Paul Kamara of Kingdom Security and Logistics Limited.

2. The following persons shall jointly and severally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le50, 955, 471, 155. 95 and USD1, 183, 000. 00 that were misappropriated and or had remained unaccounted for, namely: i. Alfred Palo Conteh, and ii. Steven Gaojia.

3. i. Alfred Palo Conteh, ii. Steve Gaojia and iii. Omaru Badara Sisay shall produce and hand over to the Government of Sierra Leone the total number of 254 vehicles and motorbikes that were not handed over to Office of National Security at the folding up of NERC.

4. Splash Mobile Communications shall refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le640, 819, 999. 99 hazard allowances which it has failed to refund till date.

5. Samuel Abayomi Noldred and his Firm, BDO shall refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of USD52, 347. 55 being outstanding balance from the Ebola response fund it has failed to transfer to IHPAU.

6. Alpha Umaru Jalloh, Head of IHPAU unit of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and his finance team headed by Ayodele Martyn shall refund the sum of USD186, 645. 86 transferred to them by BDO which had remained unaccounted for as spent on bogus operation cost of IHPAU.

Government accepts recommendation 7. However, Government directs that all amounts due and recommended to be refunded and paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone shall be done within 90 days from the date of the publication of the Report together with this White Paper.

7. All amounts due and recommended to be refunded shall be refunded and paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone within 30 days from the date of the ratification of the recommendations by the Government of Sierra Leone.

Government notes recommendation 8 having regard to its response to recommendation 7 above.

8. In the event of failure or neglect or refusal to make the refunds and payment into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone within the 30 days period by any one as indicted above, the Government shall use all lawful means to confiscate all monies standing to the credit of any of the indicted persons in any bank accounts and properties, movable and immovable, including houses, vehicles, stocks belonging to any of the indicted persons for the purposes of selling them to recover the said amounts.

Government rejects recommendation 9 as it tends to distract from the object of the Commission of Inquiry. The focus of Government is to recover the people’s money and not to restrain anybody from political participation.

9. The following former public officials: i. Miatta Kargbo, ii. Madina S. Rahman, iii. Alfred Palo Conteh, iv. Dr. Donald Bash Taqi, and v. Steven Gaojia, be barred from holding any public offices on subvention or howsoever funded by the Government of Sierra Leone for a period of Five Years from the date of acceptance of this recommendation by the Government of Sierra Leone.

Chapter Three

Investigation into the Granting of Unsecured Credits to Politically Exposed Persons by Sierra Leone Commercial Bank between November 2007 and April 2018

Government notes the Commission’s findings (3.5, p47) on i. Idrissa Alooma Kamara, ii. Tapsiru Lamin Dainkeh, iii. Abu Kamara, iv. Winstanley Bankole Johnson, v. Crispin Deigh, vi. George Carl Taylor, vii. Idrissa Amadu Kamara and all former Chairmen of the Board and Managing Directors of the SLCB. The Commission found, among other things, that Crispin Deigh, a former Managing Director of the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank from February 2008 – June 2013 “… was grossly negligent in the performance of his duty and failed to put his authority as the Managing Director to proper and diligent use…”

For instance, he deliberately abdicated his supervision responsibilities of his subordinates who “… recklessly granted several unsecured loans to politically exposed persons and also to businesses owned by politically exposed persons” resulting into huge debt burden of Le7, 100, 159, 352. 29. Mr Deigh did admit under clarifications by the Commission that “… he takes the blame for the unpaid unsecured loans granted to a customer previously owing the bank…”

Government accepts recommendations 1-3

1. As a deterrent and lesson for present Bank Officials in Sierra Leone to exercise utmost caution and due diligence when dealing with funds of shareholders and customers in their custody on issues of unsecured loans and credits, Mr. Crispin Deigh, a former Managing Director of SLCB from February 2008 – June 2013 shall pay 0.05% of the outstanding amounts on the debts due from African Sunshine Co. Ltd, Le3, 071,153,464.26 amounting to Le1, 535, 576. 00; 0.15% of the debts due from Club Tourism and Entertainment Ltd, Le247, 374,225.47 amounting to Le371, 061. 00 and the 0.10% of the debts due from West Africa Trading Company, Le497, 798,843.00 amounting to Le497, 798. 00.

2. Following from the above, Mr. Crispin Deigh shall pay the total sum of Le2, 404, 435. 00 to the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank as his contribution towards the liquidations of the above outstanding debts arising from his lack of supervision and negligence in the course of his duty.

3. All the Directors of the Companies as well as all the individuals indicted above shall pay to the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank all the due outstanding debts less the amounts apportioned to be paid by Mr. Crispin Deigh in paragraph 3.6.1 above

Government accepts recommendation 4. However, Government directs that all amounts due and recommended to be refunded and paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone shall be done within 90 days from the date of the publication of the Report together with this White Paper.

4. All amounts due and recommended to be paid to the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank as above shall be paid to the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank within 30 days from the date of the ratification of the recommendations by the Government of Sierra Leone
Government notes recommendation 5 having regard to its response to recommendation 4 above.

5. In the event of failure or neglect or refusal to make the said payments within the 30 days period, the Government shall use all lawful means to confiscate all monies standing to the credits of any of the indicted persons or businesses in any bank accounts and the properties, movable and immovable, including houses, vehicles and stocks belonging to any of the indicted persons or businesses and persons of interest for the purposes of selling them to recover the said amounts.

Chapter Four

Investigation into the Youth in Drainage Projects of the Ministry of Youth Affairs between November 2007 and April 2018

Government notes the Commission’s findings (4.5, p56) on Alimamy Kamara; ii. Bai Mamud Bangura; and iii. Rev. Ibrahim Koroma as well as their collaborators as being responsible acts of corruption, maladministration and lack of accountability.

The Commission found, among other things, that huge amounts were withdrawn without supporting documents or verification and had remained unaccounted for. For instance, the 2008 real time audit revealed that Le1, 374, 403, 316. 00 has remained unverified. Other payments were made without any supporting documents or verification amounting to Le4, 889,300,000.00.

Also, that contracts amounting to Le8, 762, 540, 478. 00 were awarded without due procurement processes or were done on restricted basis. In sum, the Commission found that corruption, maladministration and lack of accountability led to the misappropriation of Le19, 812, 340, 478. 00. Also, that the Le804,000,000. 00 paid to Masada Waste Management Company by RMFA as administrative cost was “without any basis and thus unjustified”.

Government accepts recommendations 1-5

1. The following persons shall jointly and severally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le16, 652, 200, 000. 00 that had remained unaccounted for and unverified, namely: i. Alimamy Kamara; ii. Bai Mamud Bangura; and iii. Rev. Ibrahim Koroma.

2. The following persons shall jointly and severally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le500, 000, 000. 00 that was given out to Union of Musicians All Stars without any justification and outside the core mandate of the Youth in Drainage project, namely: i. Bai Mamud Bangura, ii. Adikali Samura and iii. Milton Koker

3. The following persons shall jointly and severally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le150, 000, 000. 00 that was given out to Music for Girls without any justification and outside the core mandate of the Youth in Drainage project, namely: i. Bai Mamud Bangura; ii. Adikali Samura and ii. Esther Michael.

4. The following persons shall jointly and severally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le2, 510, 140, 478. 00 that was recklessly given out to Minkailu Mansaray of Street Life Family without any justification and without any documentation and verification of its use, namely: i. Bai Mamud Bangura, ii. Adikali Samura and iii. Minkailu Mansaray

5. The Masada Waste Management Company SL Lt. of Works Yard, 2 Blackhall Road, Cline Town, Freetown, shall refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le804, 000, 000. 00 that was paid to it as administrative cost without any valid or reasonable justification.

Government accepts recommendation 6.

However, Government directs that all amounts due and recommended to be refunded and paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone shall be done within 90 days from the date of the publication of the Report together with this White Paper.

6. All amounts due and recommended to be refunded shall be refunded and paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone within 30 days from the date of the ratification of the recommendations by the Government of Sierra Leone.

Government notes recommendation 7 having regard to its response to recommendation 6 above.

7. In the event of failure or neglect or refusal to make the refunds and payment into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone by any one as indicted above, the Government shall use all lawful means to confiscate all monies standing to the credits of any of the indicted persons or businesses in any bank account and the properties, movable and immovable, including houses, vehicles and stocks belonging to any of the indicted persons or businesses for the purposes of selling them to recover the said amounts.

Government rejects recommendation 8 as it tends to distract from the object of the Commission of Inquiry. The focus of Government is to recover the people’s money and not to restrain anybody from political participation.

8. The following former public officials, Alimamy Kamara; ii. Bai Mamud Bangura; and iii. Rev. Ibrahim Koroma, be barred from holding any public offices on subvention or howsoever funded by the Government of Sierra Leone for a period of Five Years from the date of acceptance of this recommendation by the Government of Sierra Leone.

Chapter Five

Investigation into the National Youth Farm of the Ministry of Youth Affairs between November 2007 and April 2018

Government notes the Commission’s findings (5.5, p64) on i. Alimamy A. Kamara; ii. Bai Mamoud Bangura; and iii. Mustapha Turay and their collaborators. The Commission found, among other things that acts of impropriety, corruption, maladministration, abuse of public office, diversion of public funds and lack of accountability by these persons and their collaborators led to the misappropriation of huge sums of monies to the State.

For instance, a contract for the supply of farm equipment valued at USD950 000. 00 was awarded to West Star General Supplies Ltd but without any supporting documents or any verified supply of any farm equipment. The National Youth Farm project received Le2, 222, 605,000. 00 but only the meager amount of Le623, 071, 500 was actually spent on the project and verified, thus leaving it “in a comatose stage”.

Also, that Le578, 044, 000. 00 were withdrawn or disbursed without supporting documents and had remained unverified and unaccounted for. In addition, only Le247, 000, 000. 00 was paid out to the land owing families of the National Youth Farm at Masalia out of the compensation of Le750, 000, 000. 00. Further, only the meager sum of Le623, 071, 500 was actually spent. In sum, Le1, 599, 533, 000. 000 was misappropriated and has remained unaccounted for.

Government accepts recommendations 1-5

1. The following persons should be referred to the Criminal Jurisdiction and or the Anti – Corruption Commission for further investigation and likely prosecution for the award of contract valued at USD950, 000. 00 without any supporting document to confirm its authenticity and verification of the supply of farm equipment to the National Youth Farm project: i. Alimamy A. Kamara; ii. Bai Mamoud Bangura; and iii. Directors of West Star General Supplies Ltd.

2. The followings persons should be handed over to the Anti – Corruption Commission for immediate prosecution for fraudulently converting the sum of Le503, 000, 000. 00 out of the compensation sum of Le750, 000, 000. 00 due payable to the three land owning families of the National Youth Farm Land at Masalia, namely: i. Alimamy A. Kamara; ii. Bai Mamud Bangura; iii. Mustapha Turay and iv. Anthony Khanu.

3. The following persons shall jointly and severally refund and pay into the consolidated revenue fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le1, 335, 234, 000. 00 that had remained unverified and unaccounted for, namely: i. Alimamy A. Kamara; ii. Bai Mamud Bangura; iii. Mustapha Turay and iv. Anthony Kanu.

4. Mr. Mustapha Turay, the Project Manager of the National Youth Farm project shall personally refund and pay into the consolidated revenue fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le45, 730, 000. 00 he admitted that had been misappropriated under his charge.

5. Mr. Anthony Khanu, the Finance Officer of the National Youth Farm project shall personally refund and pay into the consolidated revenue fund the sum of Le218, 569, 500. 00 monies withdrawn by him without supporting documents and or authorization.

Government accepts recommendation 6. However, Government directs that all amounts due and recommended to be refunded and paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone shall be done within 90 days from the date of the publication of the Report together with this White Paper.

6. All amounts due and recommended to be refunded shall be refunded and paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone within 30 days from the date of the ratification of the recommendations by the Government of Sierra Leone.

Government notes recommendation 7 having regard to its response to recommendation 6 above.

7. In the event of failure or neglect or refusal to make the refunds and payment into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone within the 30 days period by any one as indicted above, the Government shall use all lawful means to confiscate all monies standing to the credit of any of the indicted persons and the properties, movable and immovable, including houses, vehicles or stock belonging to any of the indicted persons for the purposes of selling them to recover the said amounts.

Government rejects recommendation 8 as it tends to distract from the object of the Commission of Inquiry. The focus of Government is to recover the people’s money and not to restrain anybody from political participation.

8. The following former public officials: i. Alimamy A. Kamara; II. Bai Mamud Bangura, and iii. Mustapha Turay, be barred from holding any public offices on subvention or howsoever funded by the Government of Sierra Leone for a period of Five Years from the date of acceptance of this recommendation by the Government of Sierra Leone.

Chapter Six

Investigation into the Youth in Fisheries Project of the Ministry of Youth Affairs between November 2007 and April 2018

Government notes the Commission’s findings (6.5, p71) on i. Alimamy A. Kamara; ii. Bai Mamud Bangura; iii. Mohammed Kamara; iv. Hon Amadu Kanu; v. Hon Kemokah Conteh; and vi. Hon Abdulkareem Kamara and their collaborators. The Commission found, among other things that “there was complete lack of financial discipline and control”. There was no evidence of release of USD2, 789, 011. 56 by the National Youth Commission as counterpart funding to this project.

Also, that the procurement of 40 boats and accessories from the grant of USD500, 000. 00 from Prince Alwadi of Saudi Arabia were not with adequate supporting document of delivery of the said boats. In addition, that out of 30 boats contracted to Al-Umar Ventures to supply costing Le2, 456, 010, 000 only 15 boats were supplied and verified.

Furthermore, contracts were awarded contrary to procurement regulations. For instance, contract awarded to Group Delta Log Ltd for supplies of vehicles and pickups costing USD277,000, 000. 00 was done by restrictive bidding and the said supplies have remained unverified and unaccounted for. In all, this malfeasance led to the misappropriation of i. Le2, 721, 565, 499. 00 and ii. USD277, 000. 00.

Government accepts recommendations 1-8

1. The following persons shall jointly and severally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le390, 000, 000. 00 that had remained unaccounted for, namely: i. Alimamy A. Kamara; ii. Bai Mamud Bangura; and iii. Mohammed Kamara.

2. The following persons shall jointly and severally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of USD277, 000. 00 that had remained unaccounted for, namely: Alimamy A. Kamara; ii. Bai Mamud Bangura; iii. Mohammed Kamara; and iv. Desmond Decker of Group Delta Log Ltd.

3. The following persons shall jointly and severally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le1, 228, 005, 000. 00 that had remained unaccounted for, namely: Alimamy A. Kamara; ii. Bai Mamud Bangura; iii. Mohammed Kamara and iv. Alpha Umar Barrie of Al – Umar Ventures.

4. The following persons shall jointly and severally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le584, 225, 000. 00 that had remained unaccounted for, namely: Alimamy A. Kamara; ii. Bai Mamud Bangura; iii. Mohammed Kamara; and iv. Sahr James of Sahr James Trading Enterprises.

5. The Project Manager, Mohammed Kamara, shall personally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le518, 777,380. 00 that were unverified and had remained unaccounted for.

6. The Project Manager, Mohammed Kamara, shall return the three laptops or refund and pay into the consolidated revenue fund the cost of three laptops that had remained unaccounted for.

7. The three Honorable members of Parliament, Hon Amadu Kanu, Hon Kemokah Conteh and Hon Abdulkareem Kamara shall each refund the loans or cost of the boats given out to them by this project that had not been repaid.

8. The following matters and persons shall be referred to the Criminal Jurisdiction and or Anti – Corruption Commission for investigation and likely prosecution:

a. The grant of USD500, 000. 00 from Prince Alwadi of Saudi Arabia as to how it was spent and those to be investigated are: i. Alimamy A. Kamara; ii. Bai Mamud Bangura; and iii. Mohammed Kamara;

b. The sum of USD2, 789, 011. 56 the counterpart fund from National Youth Commission as to whether it was taken out of the account of the National Youth Commission but not paid over to the Ministry of Youth Affairs for this project or was so released and had remained unaccounted for and those to be investigated are: i. The Chairman of the National Youth Commission between 2013 and 2017, ii. Alimamy A. Kamara; iii. Bai Mamud Bangura; and iv. Mohammed Kamara.

Government accepts recommendation 9. However, Government directs that all amounts due and recommended to be refunded and paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone shall be done within 90 days from the date of the publication of the Report together with this White Paper.

9. All amounts due and recommended to be refunded shall be refunded and paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone within 30 days from the date of the ratification of the recommendations by the Government of Sierra Leone.

Government notes recommendation 10 having regard to its response to recommendation 9 above.

10. In the event of failure or neglect or refusal to make the refunds and payment into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone within the 30 days period by any one as indicted above, the Government shall use all lawful means to confiscate any monies standing to the credit of any of the indicted persons or businesses in any bank account and the properties, movable and immovable, including houses, vehicles and stock belonging to any of the indicted persons or businesses for the purposes of selling them to recover the said amounts.

Government rejects recommendation 11 as it tends to distract from the object of the Commission of Inquiry. The focus of Government is to recover the people’s money and not to restrain anybody from political participation.

11. The following former public officials: i. Alimamy A. Kamara; ii. Bai Mamud Bangura; and iii. Mohammed Kamara, be barred from holding any public offices on subvention or howsoever funded by the Government of Sierra Leone for a period of Five Years from the date of acceptance of this recommendation by the Government of Sierra Leone.

Chapter Seven

Investigation into the National Youth Village Project of the Ministry of Youth Affairs between November 2007 and April 2018

Government notes the Commission’s findings (7.5, p79) on i. Alimamy A. Kamara, ii. Bai Mamud Bangura, iii. Dr. Serry Kamara and their collaborators. The Commission found, among other things that “in all the existence of the National Youth Village, no one single youth was trained or benefitted anything from the project despite the huge amount of Le4, 376,925,174.10 released to the project by the Government of Sierra Leone”.

Also, that “on payment of compensation for the land at Kabala, out of the Le1, 000, 000, 000. 00 due payable to the Community, the sum of Le300, 000, 000. 00 was collected on the instruction of Bai Mamud Bangura”. Further, that contracts were awarded contrary to procurement regulations and supporting documents or verification have remained unaccounted to the tune of Le466, 217, 250. 00. Accordingly, that acts of impropriety and corruption led to the misappropriation of Le2, 207, 818, 212. 10

Government accepts recommendations 1-3

1. The following persons shall jointly and severally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le300, 000, 000. 00 that had remained unaccounted for, namely: i. Bai Mamud Bangura, and ii. Dr. Serry Idris Kamara.

2. The following persons shall jointly and severally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the following amounts were unverified and had remained unaccounted for:

a. The sum of Le243, 000, 000. 00 by i. Bullom Construction and General Services Ltd, ii. Alimamy A. Kamara, iii. Bai Mamud Bangura, and iv. Dr. Serry Idriss Kamara.
b. The sum of Le56, 050, 000. 00 by i. Lawrence Bia Sl. Ltd, ii. Alimamy A. Kamara, iii. Bai Mamud Bangura, and iv. Dr. Serry Idriss Kamara.
c. The sum of Le56, 050, 000. 00 by Afwen Ltd, ii. Alimamy A. Kamara, iii. Bai Mamud Bangura, and iv. Dr. Serry Idriss Kamara.
d. The sum of Le56, 449, 000. 00 by Godstime Enterprises, ii. Alimamy A. Kamara, iii. Bai Mamud Bangura, and iv. Dr. Serry Idriss Kamara.
e. The sum of Le54, 668, 250. 00 by M. K. General Construction Ltd, ii. Alimamy A. Kamara, iii. Bai Mamud Bangura, and iv. Dr. Serry Kamara.
f. The sum of Le401, 926, 750. 00 by i. Dr. Serry Idriss Kamara, and ii. Massaio Mansaray.

3. The following matter and persons shall be referred to the Criminal Jurisdiction and or Anti- Corruption Commission for investigation and likely prosecution for the collection of Le300, 000, 000. 00, out of the Le1, 000, 000, 000. 00 compensation due payable to the land owning community of the National Youth Village farm land at Kabala and those to be investigated are: i. Bai Mamud Bangura; ii Dr. Serry Idriss Kamara, and ii. Massaio Mansaray.

Government accepts recommendation 4.

However, Government directs that all amounts due and recommended to be refunded and paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone shall be done within 90 days from the date of the publication of the Report together with this White Paper.

4. All amounts due and recommended to be refunded shall be refunded and paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone within 30 days from the date of the ratification of the recommendations by the Government of Sierra Leone

Government notes recommendation 5 having regard to its response to recommendation 4 above.

5. In the event of failure or neglect or refusal to make the refunds and payment into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone within the 30 days period by any one as indicted above, the Government shall use all lawful means to confiscate any money standing to the credit of any of the indicted persons or businesses in any bank account and the properties, movable and immovable, including houses, vehicles and stock belonging to any of the indicted persons or businesses for the purposes of selling them to recover the said amounts.

Government rejects recommendation 6 as it tends to distract from the object of the Commission of Inquiry. The focus of Government is to recover the people’s money and not to restrain anybody from political participation.

6. The following former public officials: i. Alimamy A. Kamara, ii. Bai Mamud Bangura, and iii. Dr. Serry Idriss Kamara, be barred from holding any public offices on subvention or howsoever funded by the Government of Sierra Leone for a period of Five Years from the date of acceptance of this recommendation by the Government of Sierra Leone.

Chapter Eight

Investigation into the Activities of the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources between November 2007 and April 2018

Government notes the Commission’s findings (8.5, p94) on i. Minkailu Mansaray; ii. Abdul Ignosis Koroma; iii. Dr. Samura Kamara; iv. Mrs. Fatmata Mustapha; v. Sahr Wonday, John Bonoh Sisay and their collaborators. The Commission found, among other things, that the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources, as well as the National Mineral Agency (NMA), were some of the “cash – cows of unbridled and mindless corruption”.

From 2013 – 2017, the huge sum of Le63, 000, 000,000. 00, and USD2, 762, 018. 00 were generated and retained by the NMA, contrary to the provisions of Section 18 of the NMA Act 2012, which said money was misappropriated. For instance, “the sum of Le11, 499, 110, 000. 00 reserved to be paid to Koryadu community where the 706 Carat Peace Diamond was discovered, out of which the sum of Le2, 691, 523, 205. 00 have been paid to Guogi Construction Company for provision of amenities in Koryadu, but no evidence of such projects was produced for verification”.

Also, withdrawals and expenditures totaling the sum of Le27, 057, 906, 078. 00 and USD142, 734. 16 were neither supported nor authorized and had remained unaccounted for. In addition, funds generated totaling the sum of Le23, 058, 797, 339. 84 and USD4, 803, 641. 00 were transferred without any record in the cash book of the NMA or traced to the Cadastral system.

On Sierra Rutile Company SL Ltd, the Commission notes that in 2012, Sierra Leone’s shares in the said Company were secretly sold for USD12, 000, 000. 00. during tenure Dr. Samura Kamara without authority.

Government accepts recommendations 1-18

1. The followings persons shall jointly and severally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le19, 905, 145, 053. 00 and USD142, 734. 16 that had remained unaccounted for, namely: i. Minkailu Mansaray; ii. Abdul Ignosis Koroma; iii. Mrs. Fatmata Mustapha; and iv. Sahr Wonday,

2. Sahr Wonday shall personally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le240, 000, 000. 00 that had remained unaccounted for by him as end of service benefit received by him whilst still in service of the NMA.

3. The following persons shall jointly and severally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le3, 011. 109, 840. 00 that had remained unaccounted for as payments for contracts awarded without due procurement processes, namely: i. Sahr Wonday; ii. Mrs. Fatmata Mustapha; iii. Agibbs Construction Enterprises; iv. Gougi Construction Ltd.

4. The following persons shall jointly and severally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le9, 655, 732, 489. 00 and USD225, 608. 00 that had remained unaccounted for as money transferred by NMA to the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources without authority: i. Minkailu Mansaray; ii. Abdul Ignosis Koroma; iii. Mrs. Fatmata Mustapha

5. The following persons shall jointly and severally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le13, 403, 064, 850. 00 and USD4, 578, 033. 00 that had remained unaccounted for: i. Sahr Wonday; and ii. Mrs. Fatmata Mustapha.

6. Sahr Wonday shall personally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le125, 385, 000. 00 that had remained unaccounted for.

7. The following persons shall refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le7, 152, 761, 025. 00 that had remained unaccounted for as money withdrawn from the Mines Monitoring Officers Fund and spent without any supporting document and verification: i. Sahr Wonday; and ii.Mrs. Fatmata Mustapha.

8. The following persons shall jointly and severally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le2, 990. 197, 000. 00 that had remained unaccounted for, namely: i. Minkailu Mansaray; ii. Abdul Ignosis Koroma; iii. Mrs. Fatmata Mustapha; and iv. Sahr Wonday,

9. The following persons shall jointly and severally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le2, 938, 362, 542. 81 that had remained unaccounted for, namely: i. Minkailu Mansaray; ii. Abdul Ignosis Koroma; iii. Mrs. Fatmata Mustapha; and iv. Sahr Wonday,

10. The following persons shall jointly and severally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le820, 000, 000. 00 that had remained unaccounted for as money paid to Kenema from Rutile account without any supporting documents: i. Minkailu Mansaray; ii. Abdul Ignosis Koroma; iii. Mrs. Fatmata Mustapha; and iv. Sahr Wonday.

11. Sahr Wonday shall personally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le687, 986, 950. 00 and USD788, 374. 00 that had remained unaccounted for.

12. Sahr Wonday shall personally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le106, 100, 000. 00 and USD74, 000. 00 that had remained unaccounted for.

13. Mrs. Fatmata Mustapha shall personally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le700, 150, 000. 00 that had remained unaccounted for as money withdrawn and invested in treasure bills and bonds without authorization.

14. The Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources within the period under review shall personally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le48, 105, 000. 000 that had remained unaccounted for as money collected by him for Chiefdoms without authorization.

15. Sahr Wonday shall personally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le247, 175, 632. 00 that had remained unaccounted for as money spent in excess of budgetary approvals.

16. The amounts standing in credit in the Rehabilitation Account shall be ascertained and since it is not being used for any purpose be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone.

17. Mr. Jubril Kabba, former Project Officer shall immediately return to the NMA the properties of the NMA carted away by him, namely: Canon Photocopier, Fans and Computers.

18. On Sierra Rutile Company SL Ltd:

a. In view of the secrecy and shady dealings leading to the sale of the shares of the Government of Sierra Leone in the Sierra Rutile SL Ltd, such a deal involving such huge National assets of Sierra Leone cannot be carried out without some form of executive clearance from the Office of the President.

b. The issue of the illegal deals leading to the alleged sale of Government shares in Sierra Rutile Company SL Ltd, together with the following persons involved, should be referred to the Criminal Jurisdiction and or Anti – Corruption Commission for thorough criminal investigations and likely prosecution, namely: i. H. E. Dr Ernest Bai Koroma; ii. Dr. Samura Kamara; and iii. John Bonoh Sisay.

Government accepts recommendation 19. However, Government directs that all amounts due and recommended to be refunded and paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone shall be done within 90 days from the date of the publication of the Report together with this White Paper.

19. All amounts due and recommended to be refunded shall be refunded and paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone within 30 days from the date of the ratification of the recommendations by the Government of Sierra Leone.

Government notes recommendation 20 having regard to its response to recommendation 19 above.

20. In the event of failure or neglect or refusal to make the refunds and payment into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone within the 30 days period by any one as indicted above, the Government shall use all lawful means to confiscate all monies standing to the credits of any of the indicted persons or businesses in any bank account and the properties, movable and immovable, including houses and vehicle and stocks belonging to any of the indicted persons or businesses for the purposes of selling them to recover the said amounts.

Government rejects recommendation 21 as it tends to distract from the object of the Commission of Inquiry. The focus of Government is to recover the people’s money and not to restrain anybody from political participation.

21. The following former public officials: Minkailu Mansaray; ii. Abdul Ignosis Koroma; iii. Dr. Samura Kamara; iv. Mrs. Fatmata Mustapha; and v. Sahr Wonday, and their collaborator, John Bonoh Sisay, be barred from holding any public offices on subvention or howsoever funded by the Government of Sierra Leone for a period of Five Years from the date of acceptance of this recommendation by the Government of Sierra Leone.

Chapter Nine

Investigation into the Activities of the Petroleum Directorate between November 2007 and April 2018

Government notes the Commission’s findings (9.5, p108) on H.E. Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma; ii. Raymond Kargbo; iii. Emmanuel Beresford Oshoba Coker; iv. Karefa Kargbo; v. Momodu L. Kargbo; vi. Dr. Michael S. Kargbo; vii. Dr. Kaifala Marah and their collaborators. The Commission found, among others, acts of impropriety, misappropriation, corruption, gross abuse of office and maladministration. That the reckless manner in which the persons in question dealt with the finances of the Government under their care and failure to provide leadership led to the loss of the total amount of i. Le72, 254, 506, 000. 00; and ii. USD15, 413, 821. 00.

For instance, the former President approved the total rent of USD550, 000. 00 paid for four years on “Emmanshola House” owned by Emmanuel Beresford Oshoba Coker and his wife, in excess by USD150, 000. 00 over the budgetary approval of USD100, 000. 00 per annum on rental of office space for the Petroleum Directorate.

Also, only the sum of Le40, 000, 000, 000. 00 was transferred from all the monies due from the Petroleum Directorate into the Treasury Single Account, leaving the huge sum of Le66, 278, 837, 000.00 unaccounted for. In addition, the Commission found that in order to circumvent the provisions of the Fiscal Management Act 2017, staff of the Petroleum Directorate were illegally and unlawfully paid terminal benefits amounting to Le6, 175, 669, 000. 00 while still in service.

Moreover, the former President irregularly approved a loan to SMRT Co. Ltd for the supply of Biometrics Machines amounting to the huge sum of USD3, 000, 000. 00 and the said loan has remained unpaid.

Furthermore, the recapitalization loan of USD14, 000, 000. 00 approved by the former President to Rokel Commercial Bank and given through the National Commission for Privatization was most irregular and the balance of USD12, 263, 821. 00 has remained unpaid since 2015.

Government accepts recommendations 1-5

1. The following persons shall jointly and severally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le70, 294, 264, 523. 00 that had remained unaccounted for as monies not transferred to the single treasury account in 2017 and monies paid out illegally as terminal benefits to staff whilst still in the service of the Petroleum Directorate: i. H.E. Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma; ii. Raymond Kargbo; iii. Karefa Kargbo.

2. Mr. Raymond Kargbo shall personally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of Le2, 160, 241, 477 that had remained unaccounted for as monies paid out illegally to him as terminal benefits whilst he was still in service as the Director General of the Petroleum Directorate.

3. Mr. Emmanuel Beresford Oshoba Coker shall personally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of USD150, 000. 00 paid to him and his wife as rent on the “Emmanshola House” by the Petroleum Directorate in excess of its budgetary approvals.

4. The following persons shall jointly and severally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of USD3, 000, 000. 00 that had remained not refunded as monies given out illegally as loan by the Petroleum Directorate through the Ministry of Finance to SMRT Co. Ltd for supply of Biometrics Machines: i. H.E. Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma; ii. Momodu L. Kargbo; iii. Raymond Kargbo; iv. SMRT Co. Ltd.

5. The following persons shall jointly and severally refund and pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone the sum of USD12, 263, 821. 00 that had remained not refunded as monies given out illegally as loan by the Petroleum Directorate through the National C

STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY, DR. JULIUS MAADA BIO, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBIC OF SIERRA LEONE, AT THE PRESS CONFERENCE FOR THE FORMAL PRESENTATION OF THE REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONS OF INQUIRY AND THE GOVERNMENT WHITE PAPER ON THE REPORT.

I am back from my private visit to Lebanon, and in addition to my excellent health, I also bring back the good news that the ten-year agony and suffering of 130 of our compatriots in Lebanon will soon end. On September 21, thirteen of them arrived in Sierra Leone aboard Turkish Airlines. Further engagements with authorities in Lebanon and agencies supporting the repatriation will continue until the last of our citizens return home safely. My Government is already providing psychosocial care for the first batch and we will soon finalise community reintegration support packages including microcredit grants and business start-up kits.

Their suffering and pain remind us as a Government and as a country that we should and we must do more to provide opportunity for everyone within Sierra Leone. That is why my Government has prioritised human capital development with three key staples: free quality education, accessible and affordable healthcare, and food security through domestic food production.

Our initiatives are bearing fruit and within the last two years, we are making steady progress. Preliminary data tells us that we are reducing maternal mortality, and saving more lives because of the national ambulance services and investments in healthcare infrastructure and services. Our significantly low to declining COVID19 infection and death rates show that, in spite of significant resource and other constraints, our interventions have been effective. We have received plaudits internationally and countries are adopting some of our measures on re-opening airports, for instance. That said, COVID-19 is real and deadly and we must all be attentive to all healthcare directives in order to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

I would like to congratulate all 431,551 candidates who just completed the National Primary School Examination, the Basic Education Certificate Examination, and the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination. This is by far the largest number of Sierra Leoneans who have had a chance to transition from one critical point of their education to another. In the last two years of my Government’s Free Quality School Education policy, there has been a 74% increase in the numbers of students who have attempted public exams. Even amidst global COVID-19 school closures, our country has achieved great success.

Our Education Sector Partners believe in our Free Quality Education Programme and its impact for the future of this country. Within the last six months, they have mobilized about $66 million to support education in Sierra Leone. The World Bank’s recent “Free Education Project” is the largest investment in the sector. With this, we will continue to work to give access to and keep our children, especially girls, in school.

Our Sexual Offences Model Courts are operational and we will not relent in our fight to protect and empower women and girls and also fully include them in the development of this nation.

In my inaugural address to this nation, I declared three peaceful democratic wars against indiscipline, poverty, and corruption. The nexus among the three is obvious: indiscipline begets injustice and bad governance; corruption is a product of the former, and it accelerates poverty, and constrains national development.

As I have reiterated, corruption is a threat to our moral timbre as a nation of upstanding citizens, to our national development, and to our national security. Our only option is to confront corruption headon and fight it boldly and resolutely. It is a fight that we must fight; it is a fight that we must win if we must survive as a nation.

We have made great progress over the last two years. National and international indicators have lauded our great success. We are encouraged by our successes but we must sustain the fight against corruption for our collective national good and for the future of our children and of this nation.

As the Attorney General and Minister of Justice has stated, the Commissions were tasked with conducting independent, fair, thorough, and impartial investigations into allegations of corruption and abuse of public office and to make relevant findings and appropriate recommendations.

COI REPORT AND GOVERNMENT WHITE PAPER 4 All persons who were summoned to the commissions of inquiry were not summoned because of their ethnic group, their region, or their political party. They were summoned because they had been entrusted with the supreme responsibility to serve Sierra Leone. It is their conduct as individuals and their decisions while they served this country that were the subject of close scrutiny by the Commissions.

So these Commissions of Inquiry should also serve as a strong warning to serving officials that you have a duty of care to make the best decisions and act always in the best interests of citizens of this nation. When one is appointed to serve one’s country, one must do so with honesty, fairness, justice, diligence, and compassion. Do not make Sierra Leoneans, especially the children, victims of your own greed.

Although the Anti-Corruption Commission has the statutory mandate to combat corruption and investigate unlawfully acquired wealth, particularly in the public sector, the general public hardly gets an opportunity to actively and regularly follow-up on most of the particularly high profile investigations and prosecutions because the operations of the ACC are mostly covert in execution. The Commissions of Inquiry gave an opportunity to the people of this country to ardently follow the stewardship of persons in authority and see first-hand how some of those persons betrayed the public trust that was reposed in them by the people of Sierra Leone.

Citizens are reminded also that they must actively but fairly question errant leaders. It is your civic duty to question unexplained wealth. But citizens are also reminded that when Ministers or parastatal heads steal or fraudulently convert state resources, they do so to make themselves and their immediate family members comfortable. When corrupt leaders build mansions and accumulate huge bank accounts, it is not for their ethnic groups, regions, or political party to live in. It is for themselves and for their immediate families.

We have had several Commissions of Inquiry in postindependence Sierra Leone. But Sierra Leoneans seem to have learnt little to nothing from those past Commissions of Inquiry. We are determined to make this the last Commissions of Inquiry in this country. This is not the usual charge, convict, levy tepid punishments, and restitute or reinstate as soon as citizens turn the other way. Once and for all, we are determined to draw a line. Public officials must serve with integrity and they must be above reproach at all times. These Commissions were indeed about transparency and accountability and nothing else.

So let me thank the Attorney-General’s office for spearheading the process; the staff who were attached to the various Commissions including investigators and security personnel; persons who appeared at the Commissions to testify and those who gave information that was helpful to the work of the Commissions.

I also thank journalists who covered the sittings of the Commissions in an open and transparent manner, and for the benefit of both local and international audiences. Permit me to name the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) Television – a Public Broadcaster, and the Africa Young Voices (AYV) Television – a private-owned broadcasting station.

I also acknowledge and thank civil society, religious and community leaders, other stakeholders who saw these Commissions for what they are in the best traditions of Sierra Leoneans asking questions for which they deserve answers.

I again thank the Commissioners for carrying out thorough, independent, fair and impartial investigations into the allegations of corruption and abuse of public office and to make relevant findings and proffer appropriate recommendations to the Government of Sierra Leone for our considerations. We are mindful that time and space could not permit an inquiry of this nature to cover every single economic, financial, and administrative activity of the immediate past Government, but the commissioners did their best in the circumstances. They all served meritoriously.

COI REPORT AND GOVERNMENT WHITE PAPER 6 Government has carefully looked at the reports of the Commissions and the recommendations. The White Paper documents the recommendations the Government has accepted in the interest of the people of Sierra Leone. Unlike other Commissions, citizens are assured that this Government will fully implement all recommendations. I repeat, Government will implement all recommendations to the letter.

The publication of the Reports is done pursuant to section 149(2) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone, 1991 (Act No.6 of 1991). The Reports of the various Commissions of Inquiry established by Constitutional Instruments Nos. 64, 65 and 67 of 2018 are officially published together with their White Papers.

The Office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice is instructed to effect the recommendations of the Commissions of Inquiry – to recover all monies recommended to be returned to the people of Sierra Leone and to confiscate all assets recommended to be confiscated, and all other such penalties as recommended.

Persons and entities affected by the recommendation are guaranteed a peaceful and transparent judicial appeals process through which they can seek relief. So let me therefore caution every Sierra Leonean that the rule of law is supreme. Those who may wish to incite or engage in unrest and violence in order to obstruct the process of implementing the full enforcement of the recommendations will be subject to the full force of the law.

This is not the last of investigations into corruption by former leaders. The ACC and other law enforcement agencies are mandated to investigate issues that the Commissions of Inquiry did not have sufficient time to investigate. Investigations, arrests, and prosecutions for corruption will continue as long as they are permissible in the laws of this country.

Let me conclude by formally receiving the reports of the Commissions of Inquiry and the White Paper as mandated by the laws of this country. I thank you.

TOGETHER WE SHALL MAKE IT

Good evening fellow Patriots, I hope this message finds you well. I’d like to congratulate you all and express my personal joy and pride in the Chairman, Executive and members of the Sierra Leone Alliance Germany (SLAG) for their determination in achieving the organization’s mission which is to improve the lives of Sierra Leoneans, not only here abroad but also at home.
Having listened to a cross section of the Executive at home on the radio this evening, I must say I am more hopeful than ever before about the prospect of realizing positive changes and improving the lives of our fellow citizens through peace, love and most importantly UNITY. We must remain bigger than the forces that seek to drive a ridge between us and converge to make a mark that will ripple to each and every countryman in all pockets of the world. We will work hard and become the benchmark for other sub organizations to try and reach.
I am also very optimistic of the future that we can create TOGETHER under the leadership of H.E. Rtd Brig. Julius Maada Bio, who has continued to call upon all Sierra Leoneans to look beyond our tribal, regional, religious and political differences and seek prosperity together. Our love and loyalty is to Sierra Leone and we must always live by those inspiring words in our National Pledge. Thank you once more and God bless Sierra Leone, the land that we love so dear.

Dr. M’Baimba Lamin Baryoh,
Ambassador.

Sierra Leone Alliance Germany Donates to Persons With Disability

As part of their response during the COVID-19, the Sierra Leone Alliance Germany has on Thursday 16th July 2020 donated huge quantities of food items to the United Polio Brothers and Sisters Association and the Handicap Action Movement in the east end of Freetown respectively.

The Sierra Leone Alliance Germany is a non-governmental organization that is made up of Sierra Leonenans that are currently residing in Germany.

The Vice Chairman of the United Polio Brothers and Sisters Association in Shell New Road, Mr. Patrick M. Kamara thanked members of the Sierra Leone Alliance Germany for the kind gesture. He said that the outbreak of the corona virus has affected their livelihood greatly, adding that they are currently faced with lots of challenges. He said that they are finding it extremely difficult to go out and find for their family members. He disclosed that they are currently faced with both toilet and water facilities, adding that their toilet facility is not disable friendly. He called on other humanitarian organizations to emulate the king gesture of Sierra Leone Alliance Germany to support them.

Mr. Abu White Koroma, Chairman of Handicap Action Movement in Wellington, receiving the donation thanked members of the Sierra Leone Alliance Germany for the support. He said that in other countries, it is the responsibility of government to support persons with disability. He expressed that disability is not inability, adding that they have capacitated their members with skills training and they are contributing meaningfully to national development.

The Chairman of the Sierra Leone Alliance Germany, Mr. Mustapha Fofanah is represented by Mr. Sheik Umar Kamara the Chairman of the group in representing in Sierra Leone said that the donation is part of their efforts to support the people of Sierra Leone especially Persons Living with Disability. He went on to say that during this time, Persons Living with Disability needed to be cared for. He disclosed that similar donations would be held in Bo, Makeni, Port Loko and Koidu. He called on the leaders of the associations to distribute the food items equally to their members. He assured that the Sierra Leone Alliance Germany will soon embark on different developmental activities throughout the country.

Presidential Address delivered by His Excellency, Dr. Julius Maada Bio, GCRSL

President of The Republic and Commander-In-Chief of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces

On the Occasion of the State Opening of the Third Session of the Fifth Parliament of the Second Republic of Sierra Leone.

Mr. Speaker.
Honourable Vice President.
Honourable Chief Justice,
Ministers of Government,
Honourable Members of Parliament
Your Worship, The Mayor of the Municipality of Freetown
The First Lady,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

As we assemble in this Great Hall that symbolizes our unity in diversity, I would ask that we rise and observe a moment of silence for our compatriots and all other citizens of the global community who have succumbed to the COVID-19 Pandemic. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the Mercy of God/Allah rest in peace.

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members of Parliament, today’s event is taking place in a sombre atmosphere. It is observed amidst the ravages of COVID-19, not only in Sierra Leone but also the world over. That notwithstanding, I am confident that like the trials of our immediate past, this period provides yet another opportunity for all Sierra Leoneans, irrespective of religion, ethnicity and region of origin to come together for the sake of our common destiny and for the sake of humanity. While it is my prayer and hope that together with the global community, we shall combat and eliminate this global pandemic, it is equally my prayer and hope that the opportunity created for, and by our coming together will engender us to build a Sierra Leone that works for all of us. I salute our Healthcare service providers and all other frontline service providers who are working under challenging circumstances to ensure and assure the safety of their compatriots. May God/Allah bless your endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members of Parliament,

About a year ago, I addressed this Assembly, outlining progress made, major challenges and plans for the next one year. I used that occasion to canvass all Sierra Leoneans to come together to move this country to the next level of admiration. Since that time, considerable progress has been made. We have placed human capital development at the centre of our development imperatives. Two million children, including girls, now have equal access to Free Quality Education, free teaching and learning materials, expanded healthcare services, school buses, and free school feeding in some areas. We have commenced preparation for a national dialogue on purposeful education this country needs for our future development and competitiveness in the global market.
We have strengthened the Sexual Offences Act and introduced tougher penalties for rape and gender-based violence. Guided by my Government’s policy of inclusive development, we have broadened financial inclusion and social protection for women and vulnerable populations, and we have put more women at the centre of governance, the security forces, and in the justice sector.

We have recruited and trained more healthcare workers; built and refurbished more healthcare centres and hospitals; introduced a dedicated means of delivering healthcare service delivery across the country.

While challenges persist, we are expanding energy access throughout the country, constructing more roads and bridges at far lower costs than before this time, and providing more water treatment and supply facilities in all areas of the country.

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members of Parliament,

My Government has launched the medium-term National Development Plan, increased domestic revenue mobilisation, eased tax burdens on businesses, and introduced business-friendly policies and processes. We are also reviewing agreements and laws that will maximise benefit from our natural resources. Since COVID-19 struck, our Quick Action Economic Recovery Plan has ensured the provision of essential commodities and support for SMEs and vulnerable populations.

We have undertaken extensive public sector and governance reforms, including merit-based recruitment of Civil Servants, without regard to tribe, region of origin or religious belief.

Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members, we have established a solid foundation for building a strong and productive Sierra Leone.

Economic Planning and Development

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members of Parliament,

Our Medium-Term National Development Plan for 2019-2023 highlights our integrated commitment to transform the Sierra Leone economy. It is a commitment to deliver on the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and the 7 Aspirations of the African Union Agenda 2063.

We have developed monitoring and evaluation mechanisms that will enhance transparency and accountability and Government will strengthen its public performance management and service delivery mechanisms.

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, we thank our Development Partners for supporting development financing and service delivery in the country. As a result of our largely productive partnerships, we have been able to record some favourable welfare indices and increased our ranking in the United Nations Human Development Index.

The Economy

The Ministry of Finance continues to implement bold economic policies and public financial management reforms to stabilize the macroeconomic fundamentals, tackle structural impediments, and boost economic activity.

Before COVID-19, economic growth had recovered, and was increasing at an impressive rate. Inflation had eased down 4 percentage points to 13.9 percent by the end of December 2019, with a projected return to single digits by 2021.

Although exchange rates depreciated slightly due to low levels of exports, there is a decrease in the overall budget deficits, and an increase in Gross international reserves.
Government continues to strengthen its fiscal consolidation efforts as domestic revenues continue to increase while expenditures remain within budgetary limits. Tax administration reforms, taxpayer education; monitoring of taxpayer compliance among other reforms account for increased domestic revenues. Expenditure controls have also helped keep total expenditure within budget.
Government has also strengthened fiduciary oversight of State-Owned Enterprises and strengthened the management of fiscal risks.

The establishment of the Wages and Compensation Commission is far advanced and the draft Bill has been submitted to Cabinet for approval. The Commission will address equity in pay and compensation and also harmonise the various pension laws in the Public Service.

The Ministry of Finance has strengthened the Internal Audit Function and has laid the 2020 Procurement Regulations before Parliament for ratification. In the medium-term, Government is working on implementing an electronic procurement system. We are now rolling-out the automation of PET forms, which will ensure significant reduction in the processing time for all MDAs. This automation will augment an Electronic Funds Transfer System that will enable real time and paperless processing of transactions between the Accountant General’s Department and the Bank of Sierra Leone.

Digital Identity and Financial Inclusion

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members of Parliament,

At the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2019, I argued the need for a singular, securitised, and serially numbered identification instrument that can be used for “governance, development planning, financial inclusion, and human rights imperatives”, and also “strengthen healthcare planning, health information systems, disease surveillance and monitor public health interventions and outcomes.” It will also support the registration of legal instruments, support national security and public safety, payroll data, teacher and healthcare worker recruitment, and much more.

My Government has commenced the nationwide exercise of confirming Personal Details of citizens, resident non-citizens, and the unregistered population of Sierra Leone. The development and maintenance of a Permanent Civil Register, will serve as foundation and primary source of information on the population of Sierra Leone. On this note, I will strongly urge every Sierra Leonean Citizen and non-citizens to cooperate with the National Civil Registration Authority.
Social Security.

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, NASSIT continues to deliver on its mandate of paying out decent pensions benefits to members and their dependants. The Trust has also invested heavily in real estate, hospitality, and financial sectors of the country. To improve service delivery and enhance process efficiency, NASSIT is replacing its current integrated Biometrics Registration System (BRS) referred to as NAPOS II, with a fully functional Web-Based Integrated Biometric Pension Administration System.

Free quality basic and senior secondary education

My Government continued to allocate 21% of its recurrent budget to the education sector. Working with partners, we have built more classroom blocks and associated facilities. We launched an Education Innovation Challenge to test for creative ideas that would help us improve learning outcomes for basic literacy and numeracy. Five innovations are being piloted in 170 schools nationwide. This initiative will inform the establishment of a National Assessments Unit at the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education that will aim at further improving quality in learning outcomes in schools.

My Government has approved many more schools, recruited and trained more teachers; streamlined professional development, teacher attendance monitoring, and grievance-redress processes; and will soon launch a teacher registration and licensing policy. In compliance with the decentralization drive, we have commissioned all 16 District Offices of the Teaching Service Commission. We believe that by increasing our commitments to, and investments in teachers, we can increase the quality of education in our country.

Strengthening tertiary and higher education

Ten technical and vocational institutions are fully operational throughout the country, with curriculum focused on skills training and entrepreneurship education. My Government has also secured support from the Government of Kuwait to fund the construction of six Technical/Vocational Institutes in Falaba, Kerene, Makeni, Port Loko, Mattru Jong and Koindu.

Health care improvement

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I am pleased to report that for the third successive year, my Government has increased healthcare budget allocations from 7% in 2018 to 10.5% in 2019 and 11% in 2020. We have recruited 2,500 healthcare workers and we will be hiring 3,000 more in 2020 with a focus on Midwives, Pharmacists and Pharmacy technicians, Epidemiologists, Clinical and Surgical Community Health Officers. We have instituted continuing education for nursing professionals. We have also reviewed compensation for healthcare workers right across board.

Mr. Speaker, in line with my commitment to establishing an ultra-modern diagnostic facility in Sierra Leone, I am pleased to announce to this House that Cabinet has approved $19.8 Million for the construction of a National Diagnostic and Radiotherapy Cancer Treatment Centre with modern facilities. This will substantially reduce costs on our overseas medical expenditure and broaden access to more Sierra Leoneans.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, my Government rapidly activated all Emergency Operations Centre pillars. We have instituted international best practices in contact tracing and surveillance. We have deployed science, technology, and innovation in data and call collection, including a telephone based self-diagnostic tool. Other healthcare directives have helped us largely curtail and protect against large scale community infection of COVID-19.

Social protection

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, my Government’s commitment to social protection and expanding opportunity is evident in our sustained social cash transfers to extremely poor households; livelihood security and financial support through micro grants and loans; providing entrepreneurship training and start-up capital, youth employment through cash-for-work programmes for vulnerable youths; and peace consolidation through the payment of rehabilitation grants to war widows and victims of sexual violence nationwide among others. In partnership with World Bank financing, we have successfully launched Phase II of the Social Safety Net Project with expanded coverage.

Social Welfare

Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, the National Task Force on Human Trafficking Secretariat, which is located in the Ministry of Social Welfare, recently secured 2 convictions in the High Court in Freetown – the first ever since the enactment of the Anti-Human Trafficking Act of 2005. The Ministry Social Welfare is providing psychosocial and reintegration support for returning migrants.
My Government remains firmly committed to the protection of the child and fourteen of the sixteen districts are currently using the child protection information management system to document, report and provide guidance on preventing and responding to child abuse cases and other related issues.

Improving the productivity and commercialization of the agricultural sector

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I noted in my last address to this august body that Agricultural development continues to occupy a strategic position in the Nation’s development agenda. It remains a key pillar in the attainment of economic diversification and Social economic development. Over 60 – 70% of our people depend on some sort of Agriculture for their livelihood. We are therefore aware that if we get agriculture right, we will see an immediate multiplier effect in almost every other facet of our development nexus.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, with support from the Boosting Agriculture and Food Security Project, has finalized the development of Cocoa, Coffee and Cashew Policies to support the advancement of the tree crops sector.

In 2020, Government will support the Ministries of Youth Affairs, Defence, as well as the Correctional Services and the Local Councils to establish institutional farms across the country as part of the drive to boost rice production and productivity in order to achieve rice self-sufficiency in the country.
Another major area of intervention in the agricultural sector is the promotion of animal production which will improve nutrition and provide increased incomes for livestock farmers. Government has renovated the Teko Central Veterinary laboratory and equipped same with modern laboratory facilities for the diagnosis of a majority of the endemic animal diseases prevalent in the country.
Improving the productivity and sustainable management of fisheries and the marine sector.

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, my Government is meeting its commitment on instituting effective fisheries management and governance, meeting sustainable biodiversity and conservation goals, and implementing a long‐term viability and management plan. To that end, Government has strengthened the policy and regulatory framework through the enactment of the new Fisheries Regulations 2019 and the 2018 Fisheries and Aquaculture Act. This has increased revenue in the sector to an unprecedented Le 100.5 billion.

Government has also developed, validated, and is currently implementing the National Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing. With the support of the Government of the People’s Republic of China, the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources is also conducting a comprehensive fish stocks assessment in Sierra Leone for three years.

Based on precautionary and management principles, The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources has, for the first time, implemented a one month ‘Closed Season’ (1st -30th April 2019) for industrial fishing vessels. This conservation measure is part of the Management Plan contributing to the rebuilding of declining fish stocks.
Government has improved the monitoring, control, and surveillance of our territorial waters and continues to monitor all licensed fishing vessels through an upgraded 24-hour Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) and the Automatic Identification System (AIS).
We have effectively engaged the EU Directorate–General for Health and Food Safety in order to facilitate the export of fish and fisheries products.

At the local level, Government, with support from partners, has commissioned improved smoke ovens, raised platforms, cold rooms and WASH facilities for various fishing and other communities right throughout the country.

Revitalizing the tourism sector

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, my Government has identified tourism as one of the clusters for increasing national revenue and job creation, and for achieving economic diversification. To compete as a unique and attractive Tourist destination, we have proclaimed new National Heritage Sites, restored existing sites, constructed jetties at riverine natural/cultural sites and declared several natural and cultural assets as protected areas, sites and property. An Ultra-Modern entertainment complex will soon be constructed to showcase the talent of our artists.

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, you will agree with me that the recent “finish line” for the Budapest- Bamako-Freetown Rally coupled with increased tourist arrivals is sufficient indication that the perception of Sierra Leone as a tourist destination is changing for the better.

Oil and Gas Exploration

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, even though the oil and gas industry is experiencing its worst recession in recent history, the Petroleum Directorate ran a robust licensing round for Sierra Leone’s open offshore acreage. The process, which attracted 6 international oil and gas companies, was commended by the international oil and gas industry as open, transparent, and credible.
Two companies (Cluff Energy and Innoson Oil and Gas) were selected and awarded provisional Petroleum licenses, after meeting the technical, financial, and commercial requirements set out for the issuance of exploration license for operating in Sierra Leone’s deep water basin. My Government will continue working to optimize Sierra Leone’ oil and gas potential.

Management of Mineral Resources

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I am pleased to report that Sierra Leone has completed its first ever nationwide airborne geophysical survey that has provided high resolution airborne magnetic and radiometric data. Supported with funds from the World Bank, Sierra Leone has also formulated a comprehensive Geodata Management policy that has been adopted by cabinet.

The Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources, in collaboration with the National Minerals Agency, has also reviewed standard procedures for all negotiations and agreements between mineral rights holders and local communities through a model community development agreement. More artisanal licenses have been issued with the impact of increased productivity and employment. In addition to the large-scale mining licenses granted, it is expected that operational mines will provide jobs for over 15,000 Sierra Leoneans by the end of 2020.

Overall, we are now formulating the Mines and Minerals Development Act 2020). The new act contains strong provisions for Local content, Community benefits, value addition and other linkages to the mining sector, establishment of metals and precious mineral training houses (owned by the Government of Sierra Leone), Artisanal Mining Area development scheme and more.

Energy

Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, with current energy access at 18%, my Government will pursue its overall policy objective of providing adequate, affordable and sustainable power supply nationwide, to stimulate economic development through the consolidation, improvement, and expansion of existing and potential energy supply infrastructure.

With support from the World Bank under the Energy Sector Utility Reform Project, government is improving the transmission and distribution network in Freetown and its environs and rehabilitating five sub-stations in Brookfields, Congo Cross, King Tom, Lumley and Blackhall Road. Of these substations, three are already completed. The 11KV overhead lines and the old Ring Main Unit, which contributed greatly to line losses, are being replaced. The erection of poles to link these sub stations is also underway. The completion of this project will improve network stability and reduce technical losses in Freetown.

With funding from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and my Government, the 6 Megawatt (MW) Freetown Solar Park Project at Newton is at an advanced stage of construction and is expected to be commissioned in September 2020. Similarly, with joint funding from the Department for International Development (DFID) UK and the African Development Bank, government has recently launched projects to rehabilitate, improve, and expand the Transmission and Distribution networks in the townships of Bo and Kenema. The project will replace the ageing distribution network in these cities and also upgrade the 33KV line between Bo and Kenema to a 66KV line for the evacuation of power from the CLSG substation at Teloma in Kenema. The completion of this project will help connect the main communities along the Bo – Kenema highway (Blama, Jembeh, Baoma Station, Yomandu and Gerihun).
Under the Regional electrification project, three CLSG sub stations have been completed in Teloma – Kenema, Binkongo substation at Bumpeh in Kono, and Bumbuna. Construction of the remaining two sub stations at Fadugu and Kamakwie is ongoing. The CLSG project will also connect 39 rural communities across seven districts along the TRANSCO line under the rural electrification component of the CLSG.

Government is also finalizing arrangements with the International Finance Cooperation of the World Bank Group to establish the Floating Storage Regasification Unit Terminal at the Freetown Harbour. This Terminal will serve both domestic and the regional market for gas supplied to potential users of LNG for power generation at a cheaper rate.

Similarly, government is currently negotiating with a Chinese Firm called SINO HYDRO for the development, construction and commissioning of a 160 Megawatt hydro at Bikongo in Kono District.

With a soft loan of USD$78 from the EXIM Bank of India, we are committed to the construction of the 225KV Transmission line of 235 Kilometres and 66KV Transmission line of about 90 Kilometres from Yiben in Koinadugu district to Waterloo. The purpose of this project is to evacuate power from the TRANSCO line to the Western area.
With funding from DFID UK, government is currently implementing the Mini Grid project in Sierra Leone. Solar PV Panels have been installed in 54 communities across the country under Work Package One and homes are now being connected. Poles and cables are also being installed in 44 additional communities across the country under Work Package Two of the same project. This project will electrify up to 98 rural communities across the country which will help increase our energy access in line with Goal 7 of the Sustainable Development Goals.

I am pleased to announce that Government, has received grant funding from the Africa Union for the electrification of the Njala University and its surrounding communities with a hybrid power system of Solar PV mini grid and mini hydro.

Transforming transportation systems
Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, my Government remains committed to implementing a National Vehicle Fleet Policy, developing a secure road worthiness test regime and Government Registered Vehicle Database, producing a master plan for ports and harbours throughout the country, exploring multi-modal transportation systems, improving air travel, and providing reliable and effective public transportation system with all relevant infrastructure to ease movement across the capital city, Freetown and the rest of the country.

My Government has started implementing the Integrated Resilient Urban Mobility Project, a $50 million project, that will provide buses, bus terminals, dedicated bus routes, and significantly improve service quality and travel experience for commuters in Freetown.
My Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Regional Maritime University (RMU) in Ghana to facilitate capacity building, skills training, and other relevant technical exchanges.

The Environment

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, my Government is committed to protecting the environment. Specifically, the policy actions we are pursuing include (i) effective environmental governance, (ii) managing forest resources, (iii) ecosystem conservation and (iv) environmental education.

Improving water infrastructure systems

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, there is an urgent need to review the 2010 National Water and Sanitation Act in order to align it with outcomes and indicators set out in Sustainable Development Goal 6. The draft reviewed policy has been developed and stakeholder consultations will be soon concluded. The policy will be finalized and introduced this year to guide interventions in the water and sanitation sector.
Eight (8) Water Regulations (complaints handling procedures, licensing rules, consumer service, quality of supply, service provider reporting rules, water codes, bottled and sachet water production regulations, certification rules) have been developed, laid before parliament, and are now maturing into law.

Pursuant to Government’s commitment to monitor and regulate our water resources, the National Water Resources Management Agency (NWRMA), which was set up by an Act of Parliament in 2017, is now fully operational with appreciable staff compliment and a five-year strategic plan has been developed.

Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, my Government is pursuing action to ensure improved water supply across the country. Government has provided funding for the reconstruction of water supply systems in six District Headquarter Towns (Moyamba, Pujehun, Kailahun, Kabala, Kambia and Magburaka). Government has provided funding for and will soon commence work on the reconstruction of the Bonthe water supply system.

In the medium term, DFID has funded feasibility studies and detailed design on the rehabilitation of the Guma Dam, the Water Treatment Plant, Transmission Network, leakage management for distribution network, Spur Road pumping station, extension of the distribution network and refurbishment of the Allen Town water supply system. The World Bank has also funded the Freetown Emergency Recovery Project that will rehabilitate the water treatment plant at the Babadorie Dam, Regent, and the laying of a 4km distribution network in communities close to the mud slide area at Mortormeh. The Government of Sierra Leone has solely funded the Lumley–Aberdeen Beach Road Water Supply Improvement Project which provides service connections to recreational centres and businesses along the beach.

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, funding has been secured from the African Development Bank and other partners for improvement of the water supply infrastructure in Freetown for increased access to sustainable water supply, sanitation services and hygiene. This project will also develop water sources in small catchment areas along the Western Peninsular for domestic use.

Additionally, a pilot project is being implemented in Kingtom and Aberdeen which will isolate and meter these two settlements to determine and understand revenue loss or gain from the water supply network. Lessons learnt from this pilot project will be applied to other areas of the city.

The Reconstruction of Water supply systems in Bo, Kenema, and Makeni is nearing completion. Residents are already accessing water from these systems. However, very few households are connected to the system. SALWACO is currently accelerating service connections in the three towns. This project is scheduled for commissioning this year.
Government has also completed 406 hand dug wells, 125 boreholes, 22 rain water harvesting systems, 301 public sanitation facilities, 200 rain gauging stations, and 20 surface and ground water monitoring stations across six districts (Koinadugu, Falaba, Kono, Kambia, Pujehun and Bonthe). Additionally, Government has rehabilitated 1100 water points and currently constructing 15 gravity-flow water supply schemes.

Government has made significant investments in WASH in Schools and Health Facilities nationwide. GUMA and SALWACO are aiming at increasing access to Water in Health Facilities at 50 Health Facilities from 65% to 75% and WASH in Schools interventions in about 100 Schools.

Information and communications Technology

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, my Government acknowledges the role of the media in enhancing participatory democratic governance. Journalists should hold government accountable in a responsible and professional manner. To that end, Government is firmly committed to repealing the criminal libel law. Government will also continue its subvention to the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) and to support the professional development of its membership.

The Ministry of Information and Communications, in collaboration with the Ministry of Lands and Country planning, will provide land in the capital for the construction of an ultra-modern office facility for SLAJ.
Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, the Ministry of Information and Communications has put together a draft policy that will cover Public Records and Judicial Records and all public entities of the Republic of Sierra Leone that are subject to the Public Archives Act 1965 (as amended in 2015). The Records Management Policy will provide an overarching framework of accountability and responsibility for managing public records according to acceptable standards.

Ministry of Information has also put forward a draft film policy that seeks to facilitate sustained development of the Sierra Leone film industry to meet international standards.
I am pleased to announce that the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation) (SLBC) has extended coverage, targeting 10 community radio stations in rural communities, to compliment SLBC coverage in some areas including Falaba District. We are bringing the government closer to its citizens through monthly outreach activities including town hall meetings, district/regional press briefings, and media engagements at community levels.

Technology and Innovation

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, the Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI) was established to use science, technology, and innovation to support the Government of Sierra Leone to deliver effectively and efficiently on its national development plan; and to help transform Sierra Leone into an innovation and entrepreneurship hub.

One year after its launch in October 2018, the team at DSTI has led and implemented projects that provide data that informs or drives policy, and supports government service delivery. DSTI’s work has promoted global partnerships, ecosystems strengthening, data collection and analysis, and has produced a National Innovation and Digitalisation Strategy.

Among DSTI’s many achievements are a Free Quality Education Data Hub, a Government of Sierra Leone USSD service, a Human Capital Development Incubator, an Integrated GIS solution for the Government of Sierra Leone, the Electronic Expenditure Management System, the National Drone Corridor, the Governance Digitization Initiative, Ease of Doing Business Tracker, and an Economic Data Analytic Tool. Clearly, the impact of all of these on various sectors of governance, service delivery, the economy, and private sector growth, has been transformative.
With respect to the COVID-19 pandemic, DSTI has been fully embedded with the Emergency Operations Centre in providing technology solutions including diagnostic USSD tools, E-passes, the Situation Room, and various information management systems.

Fostering private sector growth and manufacturing

Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, my Government is committed to upscaling Sierra Leone’s performance at Doing Business Reforms. Government has set up a technical committee comprising policy makers and development partners. A tracker tool has been implemented to help the Government monitor the implementation of investment climate reforms. There is also focused cross-ministry and cross-sectoral work on improving benchmarks, whether in areas of demurrage time, tax holidays and weekends, and downward reviews of duties on essential commodities.

Additionally, Government intends to engage the Chambers of Commerce on the need to restructure the private sector and to also accelerate work on automating business systems and processes.

My Government has identified sustained entrepreneurship development as a key driver of the economy. The Ministry of Trade and Industry will further seek to explore the benefits of market access and linkages provided for in trade agreements, including the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act of the United States (AGOA) and the new Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement. To that end, the AGOA Response Strategy, The “Made in Sierra Leone Strategy”, the SME strategy, and The National Trade facilitation Strategy have been developed.

I am pleased to announce that SONOCO, a Guinean based Company, is targeting to invest over 20 Million USD in establishing a Flour Mill in Sierra Leone with a capacity of 2,500 metric tonnes a day. They also have a long-term goal of setting up a factory to manufacture machinery for baking.

We will simplify border procedures in collaboration with neighbouring countries in order to facilitate cross-border trade in basic commodities up to products by emerging tech-based companies. The Mano River Union is a niche market of 45 million people. We will utilize this niche for the benefit of our people.

With regard to the regulatory environment, Government has launched the Corporate Governance Code, and ratified the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement. Cabinet has also approved the National Trade Facilitation Committee. My Government is currently reviewing relevant regulations to facilitate business and maximize our competitiveness in doing business.

Political development for national cohesion

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, my Government engaged a representative stakeholder group at the Bintumani 3 Conference. The Communique called for the establishment of a National Commission for Peace and National Cohesion in Sierra Leone.
Citizen engagement is underway and a draft bill will be tabled for the establishment of the Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion.

Fighting corruption and illicit financial flows

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, our fight against corruption will be sustained because it is good for governance, for business, and for the image of this country. Sierra Leone continues to perform exceptionally well in all global scorecards. We have passed the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s indicator for corruption from 49% when I assumed office to 71% at the end of 2018 and a further 79% in 2019. Today, Sierra Leone is one of the top ten performers in the Lower Income Countries scored. The Transparency International’s Global Corruption Ranking Report 2019 published early this year has seen Sierra Leone register its highest ever score since the establishment of the Global Corruption Perception Survey. We have similarly continued to do remarkably well in other global corruption perception indices like Afro barometer, The Mo Ibrahim Index, and Freedom House.

The Anti-Corruption Commission continues to pursue corruption investigations vigorously with a very high conviction rate. It has also recovered nearly Le21billion in the past 18 months under the Non-Conviction Asset Based/Asset Recovery under my Leadership. In 2019 the Commission recorded recoveries of total over Le11billion. This is more than the total sum ever recovered by the ACC in a single year and it eclipses the previously highest recovery in 2018 (again under my leadership). These total recoveries, within a period of less than two years, remain higher than all recoveries ever made by the ACC in its entire 18 year existence.

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, in fulfilment of the declaration I made in Parliament during the State Opening of Parliament in 2018, a Special division of the High Court has now been established to try corruption cases and five dedicated judges have been assigned by the Honourable Chief Justice to hear and speedily dispose of corruption cases.

I am grateful to Parliament for supporting my call to make Corruption a High Risk and Low Return Venture and for passing the Anti-Corruption Amendment Act 2019 to which I quickly assented.

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, Sierra Leone remains fully committed to its national and international obligations to interdict illicit financial flows in all sectors and will continue to support the work of Audit Service Sierra Leone in verifying and attesting reports submitted by Government agencies on the EITI process. In addition, my Government will continue its strong support for the full scope of work of Audit Service Sierra Leone as part of its accountability framework.

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, as you are all aware, the Commissions of Inquiry Reports have been formally submitted to Government and the Government intends to take further action within the period permitted in law.

Public Safety and Law and Order

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, public safety is a necessity for peace, stability, and governance. My Government has invested in strengthening the capacity of the Ministry of Internal Affairs by establishing and supporting institutions, procedures, and policies critical to the success of its mission.

We have improved the accountability framework of the various directorates and service delivery institutions of the Sierra Leone Police. We are committed to the reinstitution of the Coroner’s Office.

Defence

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I remain fully committed to improving the general welfare of service men and women of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF). With the support of the Government of the People’s Republic of China, the reconstruction of a state-of-the-art Myohaung Officers’ Mess that includes a 104-bedroom Single Officers complex is under way. Plans are also underway to construct appropriate housing and billets for young soldiers.
My government has also approved the procurement of appropriate peacekeeping equipment to enable our troops to participate in United Nations and Africa Union peacekeeping and peace support operations.
Government will support the Armed Forces Agricultural Unit with machinery and training to enable the RSLAF to support land irrigation activities and also produce sufficient rice to feed itself.

We will establish a full-scale Army Engineering Unit to not only enhance the combat engineering capacity of the RSLAF, but also to equally compete for bids for civil engineering projects for feeder roads that enable farmers to bring their products to market. Additionally, we will expand the mandate of the Armed Forces Technical Education College (AFTEC) to integrate a teaching corps; and restructure and establish an expanded Joint Medical Service at formation level to provide quality medical services to service personnel, their dependants and the wider communities. This would require the targeted recruitment of trained and qualified health service providers.
Promoting inclusive and accountable justice institutions.

Government will promote inclusive, equal, accessible and accountable Justice institutions and practices.

Building public trust in state institutions

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, My Government believes that the National Decentralisation Act (2010) and the Local Government Act (2004) should be reviewed to reflect the development aspirations of Sierra Leone. Accordingly, we have commenced work on reviewing relevant laws and policy documents. This will include resuscitating and pursuing work on the National Constitutional Review process.

Youth employment and Youth entrepreneurship

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, My Government sees young people as key drivers of development. We regard Youths as “partners today and leaders of tomorrow.” Government has therefore increased the participation of young people in decision-making processes and leadership roles. To that end, my Government has established 190 Chiefdom and 16 district Youth Councils nationwide.

Government has developed capacity and entrepreneurial skills with a skills development project and a skills development fund component, a graduate internship programme, youth demonstration farms, youth business groups, and the setting up of a youth entrepreneurship and employment project.
Government has also established opportunities for thousands of youth with the construction of Car wash centres, youth farms, fisheries projects, and the youth service schemes.

Sports

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, my Government reactivated football after years in limbo and committed Le3.5 billion in start-up funding. The Premier League generated employment and revenues in excess of Le1.7 billion. The National Sports Authority which is mandated to develop sports in Sierra Leone has also been fully constituted. Government also supported the Zizo Under 14 football club as it participated in Spain in 2019. Our teams also participated in the All Africa Games in Rabat and the West African Football Union for Men and Women. Several national sporting opportunities in football and volleyball have also been activated.

Foreign Policy

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, my Government has focused on strengthening external relations and heightening Sierra Leone’s integration into the global arena as a viable and respected partner. It is a foreign policy outline aimed at ensuring the realization of our core national interests, whilst reaffirming our commitment to continue serving as a credible member of the international community.

We will build and strengthen our bi-lateral relations as well as fully recognize and participate in multi-lateral institutions.
Expanding our presence abroad is a pivotal element of our National Development Plan. My government has established an embassy in Turkey, and preparations are in progress to do the same in Morocco as well as reopen an embassy in France. In the same vein, India, United Arab Emirates and Iceland have communicated their interest to establish embassies in Sierra Leone. As part of the expansion, the Ministry has redefined the relationship with consuls and facilitated the appointment of a Global Icon as Brand Ambassador to further external relationships.

My Government continues to amplify its presence at the multilateral platforms but most importantly, heightened engagement on the reform of the United Nations Security Council. As Coordinator of the Committee of Ten (C-10) Heads of State and Governments, the Ministry organised what has been termed as the most successful C10 Ministerial meeting in Dakar Senegal in January this year. This meeting, which brought together 7 out of 10 Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the C10 member countries, was acclaimed as the most participatory meeting and a grand success. My peers across the continent have inundated me and my team with congratulatory messages for hosting a successful international conference and for providing quality leadership in canvassing the common African Position in the reform process.

At other multilateral platforms, my Government launched the Sierra Leone ‘’Walking Out of Fragility’’ initiative on the margins of the High-Level Political Forum in New York in July 2019. The objective is to transform Sierra Leone into a strong middle-income economy where peace is guaranteed, democracy is irreversible, and growth is sustained in spite of shocks from global economic crises, disease outbreaks, and/or natural disasters.

The Ministry is now in the process of facilitating the enactment of a Foreign Service law, which gives it the latitude to significantly improve and sustain the quality of foreign representation and service delivery. This Law will provide the legal provisions for the establishment of the Diplomatic Academy. Already, I am pleased to announce that the establishment of a state-of-the-art training facility for our foreign service has received cabinet approval and construction is in progress.

The welfare of Sierra Leoneans living abroad is central in my administration. Apart from the general assistance provided by the Ministry, specific support, including but not limited to repatriation, as and when required, is also extended by our embassies and missions.

Mr. Speaker, Honourable members, let me conclude with an appeal to wield the best in us for making Sierra Leone what it ought to be. Let us be focused and stay energised in a national bid to make Sierra Leone better. Let us embrace peace and lend our unconditional support to ensuring that we leave behind the dark days of strife and hatred. Let us love one another and translate that love into serving our country. Together, let us build a Sierra Leone that works for all of us, and for humanity. I pray that God/Allah will guide and Bless our best endeavours.

God bless the Republic of Sierra Leone – the land that we love.

Diplomatic Community in Sierra Leone Commends Government’s COVID-19 Response, Condemns All Acts of Violence in the Country

Presidential Lodge, Freetown, Thursday 21 May 2020 – Representatives of the Diplomatic Community in Sierra Leone have in a meeting with His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio commended the government’s response to the Coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic and condemned all forms of violence in the country.

During her opening statement Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Madam Nabeela Tunis, thanked the diplomats for honouring the invitation to meet and discuss issues of great importance to their individual and collective partnerships.

In his statement, President Bio said that Sierra Leone’s response to the COVID-19 was early and well-considered, noting that even before the country recorded its index case, Government and its partners had triggered off healthcare protocols, reactivated all Emergency Operations Centre, EOC, pillars and set up structures for quarantining, testing, disease surveillance, contract tracing, and isolation and treatment centres.

“I salute and associate strongly with focused and intensive multilateral global efforts by countries and international organisations including the United Nations, the WHO, the African Union, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and ECOWAS, among others, in battling this highly infectious and deadly pandemic.

“Sierra Leone is committed to all global efforts at preventing, protecting against and curtailing COVID-19. Sierra Leone is fully supportive of global initiatives to enhance health security and build capacities for responding to health emergencies, especially disease outbreaks that threaten global development,” he said.

Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Sierra Leone, Ambassador Ibrahim Habis Ugbada, appreciated President Bio for the efforts in curbing the COVID-19 in the country, saying that because of his standing qualities, the spread of the virus in the country had been slow. He also commended the government for its good work and assured of their availability at all times in every aspect of development and support to the government.

Resident Coordinator for the United Nations, Sunil Saigal, said that they condemned and would continue to condemn all forms of violence, adding that the focus of everyone should be on fighting the COVID-19 and to make sure it did not have a further negative impact on society. He also called on all political parties to refrain from violence of all sorts and support the national efforts in fighting the virus.

Head of European Union Delegation, Tom Vens, commended the President for his engagement with leaders of civil society groups, noting that they were encouraged by the initiative and leadership shown by the President in creating space for dialogue with CSOs. He said that as partners they were against any act of violence or intimidation that was standing in the way of the country moving forward.

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