4 years of Hardship!! -NGC

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Opposition party, National Grand Coalition (NGC) has revealed findings it’s on the Bio led administration in regard their four years of governance stewardship in Sierra Leone.

A press release from the NGC dated, 4th April, 2022 revealed huge gaps in the Sierra Leone’s peoples party led government which marked its exactly four years in power since it took over the mantle of leadership on April 4th 2018.  For the sake of our readers, we will publish verbatim the press statement published by the NGC.  Please read below how the NGC hammered their huge arguments on the issues raised which they say are causing more hardship on the poor in particular.

‘’Exactly four years ago in the Republic of Sierra Leone, there was a peaceful transition from the All Peoples Congress regime to the Sierra Leone Peoples Party Government led by His Excellency Brig. Rtd. Julius Maada Bio. The destiny of the people changed hands and we all hoped that the newcomers who promised to take a new direction would lead us all to a “betteh Salone.”

The press release also said that they assumed that the first priority of the new regime on gaining power, if they were a responsible party, was to cater for the basic needs of the ordinary citizens; especially since J.J Saffa, the man who was to become the Minister of Finance and later Chief Minister had faithfully promised at campaign time that if elected, his party would resolve the bread and butter issues.   The National Grand Coalition (NGC) therefore, assuming our responsibility as an opposition party, adopted a very simple way of monitoring the performance of the newcomers. We systematically recorded the prices of basic food items in the market that every family needs to survive since March 2018.

“The report we present today to commemorate the Paopa regime’s fourth year in office is the eighth such report since we started in 2018. Paopanistas initially ridiculed this exercise, called us the idle party that goes to markets. But here we are today with another snapshot of the way this regime has impoverished our people, another report card for the “talk and do”. Please read it well and see for yourselves”. The release noted.

According to the press release everything has increased since 2018; today the lowest increase recorded is the price of a bag of rice, Le 430,000 or 83% increase although a cup of rice has increased by 150% at Le 3,000 per cup. Note that these prices are from markets in Freetown and can be higher in the provinces (a cup of rice now costs Le 5,000 in Jendema). Interestingly but not surprisingly, the highest increases are on locally produced items such as dry bonga fish (1100% increase), tie plassas (700% increase), pepper by cup (757% increase). It is not surprising because the local producers, the fisherman, plassas and pepper grower need money to buy other things that have also become expensive. 

Our chop money budget, that is the estimate of the prices of items needed by a family of four persons (papa, mama and two kids) to prepare their daily meal, stands today at Le 82,500. This means that for a low-income family that depends on one person earning the minimum wage of Le 600,000, if they spend all the money on preparing food, that family will eat for only four days. This is the reality of the ordinary man. No explanation about high world prices for fuel or COVID or Ukraine, can convince a man whose salary lasts only four days on just food. If he can no longer feed his family for twenty-six days in a month, pay his rent, send his children every day to school or buy top up, but hears that one Big Man in his country is ready to pay two billion Leones in a church as bus fare to go to heaven, he is bound to be angry!

The release also pointed that this Government cannot blame the opposition for their failure. By their ineptitude and arrogance they are very successful in campaigning against themselves.  They refused to take us seriously when we told them to address the issue of hardship as a matter of urgency. Instead of doing something about it, they sent people on radio and television to defend, refute and explain. Now even the Minister of Information has run out of explanations and disappeared, leaving their strategic vuvuzelas to embarrass themselves.

The press statement ended by stressing that Four years have gone by and sweet nothing to show. This morning, when one would have expected Paopa to be celebrating their fourth anniversary, guess what? AYV  and Radio Democracy 98.1 went off the air. Nothing to talk about. Shame! And yet, they want more time. FOR WHAT???  ’’

Orange SL Provides ‘Sunakati’ For hundreds of Muslims At Dwarzack 

 By Feima Sesay.                           

Orange SL, the leading Telecommunications company in Sierra Leone has on Tuesday 5th April, 2022, provided Sunakati  for over 500 Muslims at Dwarzack community.        

    The Sunakati feeding is part of Orange SL’s ‘’Love Tight campaign’’ that is being carried out to reach out to thousands of Muslims in most parts of the country and to share love and Islamic teachings with them during this holy month of Ramadan.     

 More than five hundred people were fed at Dwarzack community, west of Freetown.    The food  were prepared by Orange staff and the community women.

The orange team had been stationed at Dwarzack since the morning hours as they were preparing the ground and to organize the community people to honor the afternoon and evening prayers.

  The event was also used to by local religious leaders to teach community people about fasting and religious principles.

On the other side as well, Orange services; like ‘’SIM card activation’’ for Orange money and other services were also done at their Mobile Kiosk; as a way of bringing the services of the company closer to people .

Food were then served at sunset to mark the end of the fasting day, bringing community people together to eat side by side with each other, promoting the spirit of love and generousity.    Dwarzack was among the many lucky by communities that benefited from the orange Sunakati last year.  This year, Orange has also promised to reach out to more communities across the country.

Mohamed Kallon, a senior staff of the company in a brief statement said Orange SL believed in sharing which he said they had always been demonstrating. He said all throughout the ‘Love Tight promotion,’ Orange Money will be giving prizes that would worth  of food items to at least ten winners daily ; whiles  Orange SL also will do same.

APC Calls for probe on ‘’fake Doctoral degrees’’

In a press release from the All People’s Congress Party dated April 4 2022 it pointed out that the party is appalled at the spate of fake doctoral degrees paraded by highly placed people in society, especially the current government.

The statement said the APC is ashamed of the plunge in the country’s reputation as a beacon of education in West Africa and it is pathetic that the SLPP party, which has claimed to be the promoter of education, and had campaigned on the premise of transforming the educational system, could not check a simple matter such registering fake academic institutions conferring fake high degrees to bigwigs within the government – from parliament to the police.

The press has called on the government to speedily address this matter and to bring all the miscreants to book as quickly as possible. It has further asked that the government apologizes to the nation for bringing into disrepute the country’s good name. It’s a disgrace that a government that seeks to rebrand the country’s image, chirping out loud about human capital development is the same government has is condoning despicable and shameful acts.

The release ended that the All People’s Congress wishes to assure the people of Sierra Leone that it would sanitize the educational malaise that has gripped the country since the SLPP came into power in 2018. We seek the people’s mandate at the next general election to put to stop this ugly situation.

Below is the press release

NaMED Calls for partnership with CSOs

By Mustapha Dumbuya

The National Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate has for an informal partnership with Heads of Civil Societies Organizations in Sierra Leone.

During the meeting at their Head Office, Old Railway Line, in Freetown, the Managing Director from the National Monitoring and Evaluation Dr. James Edwin said: “In our country (Sierra Leone), little attention has been paid to the issues of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) of donor and government-funded projects, programs, and policies, across the public sector, which is a cause for concern.”

Dr. Edwin went on to say that all efforts have been made to prepare the National Development Plan in the area of Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPS), including the current Medium-Term National Development Plan (MTNDP- 2019-2023).

The Director expressed his thoughts that routine monitoring has been uneven in scope and quality; evaluation has been Sparse in terms of coverage and use; and budgetary provisions for M&E in the national budget are absent or inadequate in most cases and previously, this has limited outcomes and impacts of our development efforts.

As a result, he added that the executive, parliament, and the public have been under-informed of the value for money of public investments, the successes and failures of public programs, and the lessons that serve as the foundation for informed policy decision-making, reform, and development.

“President Julius Maada Bio pledged to establish and operationalize a National Monitoring and Evaluation system that will improve understanding of what the government is doing, what is working well, and what needs to be improved to achieve positive development for the people of Sierra Leone,” he explained.

He also said as a result of this commitment, the National Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate (NaMED) was established, reporting directly to the President’s Office, adding that by doing so, the government demonstrated its desire to place significant trust in ensuring the availability of accurate data and information at all times to assist in measuring the progress of development interventions and guiding government planning and decision making.

The Director also explained that the meeting’s goal is for the Civil Society Organizations / Non-State Actors (CSOs/NSA) to be officially aware of NaMED’s mandate, forged collaboration in raising awareness of the activities of NaMED, synergizing the monitoring of public Sector projects, programs, and policies so that citizens could become informed enough to support and own development interventions in their respective communities.

Alphonso BM Gbanid from the Accountability and Human Right Defender said he would welcome the idea and that it’s not new to the CSOs as they always desire to work on areas of transparency and accountability.

Mr. Gbanid stated that his organization is always ready to support NaMED at any time and everywhere adding that one of the credible thing he had noted is when NaMED goes beyond credibility and that alone had fitting to his organization.

Abu Brima, right activists, said that the DG had explained clearly to him and his organization is fully prepared to join NaMED but calling on NaMED to give them more details and operational frame work.

He continued that NaMED should be able to collaborate with few groups of right groups to see how they can be able to work together as a single unit to achieve its goal.  

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