‘IPRP is Under Funded’ – says Chairman… By IPRP Communications Unit

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Chairman of the Independent Procurement Review Panel (IPRP) Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai, said the IPRP was underfunded. He made this disclosure during a one –day Budget Hearing for the Financial Year 2022 at the Ministry of Finance (MOF) Tuesday, 28 September, 2021.

He said quotas being allocated in the previous years were ridiculous to run the daily operations of the office as compare to the magnitude of work.

This Year allocation was only Five Hundred Million Leones allocated to the Institution, adding that the coming Fiscal Year of 2022 requesting for over a Billion Leones to run the institution and implement plan activities.

The hearing was witnessed by staff of MOF, IPRP, Non State Actors (NSAs), the media and Community Based Organisations (CBOs).

The IPRP is a creation of section 65 (1) of the National Public Procurement Act No. 10 of 2016. The IPRP is charged with the responsibility to review complaints from dissatisfied bidders about decision of procuring entity.

Speaking during the hearing Chairman Abdulai said previous budget allocations of Five Hundred Million Leones to run the daily operations of the secretariat was paltry.

The IPRP Secretariat was located at the National Public Procurement Authority Office at Tower Hill during his predecessors’ era and only one staff was representing the IPRP.

He noted that such an operations undermined the IPRP in executing their duties efficiently, and referenced that one could not be a coach and at the same time referee for a team.

He told budget hearing members that under his administration he had set up the Secretariat on 3A Wellington Street that was up and running with staff being recruited.

‘’ Our major constraint the Secretariat is without a generator in case of any power outage and vehicle for operations’’. He said

He said the role of the IPRP was very vital in the procurement cycle, and that government spends over 70 percent in procuring goods, works and services.

He said the amount requested for was not much and if the said amount being allocated in the next Fiscal Year would enable the secretariat to implement its plan activities.

The chairman said activities for 2022 was to intensify stakeholder sensitization and community outreach especially in the provincial towns as well as Local Councils on core mandate of the IPRP.

Also, to develop policies and other framework for effective and efficient complaints management.

Moreover, to develop a website that would target the general public on awareness raising on activities of the institution.

“IPRP Secretariat is here to restore accountability and transparency in the procurement processes,” he said.

 The Auditor General reports are vivid case study of breach of procurement rules, adding that 70 percent of government resources misappropriated due to flout of the PPA of 2016.

Senior Financial Secretary MOF, Samuel Momoh appealed to the IPRP to roll out activity plan that was not executed, and that challenges highlighted during the presentation would be considered.

Mr. Momoh asked members present at the hearing if the budget proposal presented by the IPRP for the Fiscal Year 2022 be accepted was in the affirmative.

Regional Coordinator Non State Actors Kambia district Foday Dada, appealed to MOF to disburse the said quota requested by the IPRP so that their activities could be roll over to the next Fiscal Year.

 ‘’Such an institution needs to be empower to effectively carryout their core mandate as procurement is becoming a bed rock for corruption in the country’’ he said.

Former President Koroma Gets International Job

The Brenthurst Foundation, Africa’s pre-eminent think-tank focused upon economic development on the continent, has today announced that His Excellency Ernest Bai Koroma will be joining the Advisory Board.

After obtaining a degree in business management at Fourah Bay College, Koroma enjoyed a successful career in the private sector working for the Reliance Insurance Trust Corporation as managing director before moving into politics. President Koroma served as President to Sierra Leone from 2007-2018.

Since leaving politics Koroma has committed himself to supporting the democratic process across Africa, recently leading electoral observation missions in both Somaliland and, notably, Zambia. Here he played a key role as the head of the African Union Observation Mission in the transition of power from President Edgar Lungu to President Hakainde Hichilema.

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Dr Greg Mills, The Brenthurst Foundation Director, said: “We are delighted to welcome President Koroma to the Foundation. He brings with him unique experience of the African political landscape, further enhancing the quality of work we undertake.”

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President Ernest Bai Koroma said: “The Brenthurst Foundation’s role in supporting governments to achieve economic growth and build policy which brings development has never been more important. I am excited to join the team and use my experience to contribute to their remarkable work.”

DEAF ASSOCIATION WOMEN TO PARTICIPATE IN MISTER & MISS DEAF AFRICA 2021

By Mento & Alhassan

              NCPD Chairman, James Taiwo Cullen handed over Le 30M cheque to participants

With Thirty Million Leones (Le 30M) support from the National Commission for Persons with Disability (NCPD) to the Deaf Association Women Network Sierra Leone (DWANSL) to enable chosen members of the organization participate in Mister and Miss  Deaf Africa 2021 in Tanzania.

Presenting the Thirty Million Leones (Le 30M) to the two participants in to the contests at the Commission’s office last Friday on New England Ville in Freetown, including Kadiatu Mariama Bangura, Musu Golley and the Interpreter, Misai Francis, Chairman of NCPD, James Taiwo Cullen who described himself as a replica of President Bio said “am happy to present the cheque to my lovely sisters of the deaf association”.

He encouraged participants of the fashion show that they would get what they have requested for to enable them participate in the contest, expressing hope that participants would return home from Tanzania with laurels for the Commission and Government of Sierra Leone before presenting the millions cheque to beneficiaries.

Speaking on the purpose of the event on behalf of the Chairman, Executive Secretary and entire management of the Commission, Regional Coordinator West, Jonathan Conteh described the occasion as special as far as the institution was concerned, adding that safeguarding the wellbeing/welfare and promoting talents among Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) locally and internationally are part of the mandates of the Commission.

He assured that NCPD was always willing and ready to support any class of PWDs in society, devoid of region, tribe or political affiliation, noting that they supported the productive program with the little they have as a Commission because it has the potential to promote lives of participants and country as a whole. He emphasized that the Commission would focus on the aspect of capacity building and empowering talents among the disabled group of people in society with the little available resources and concluded that the Commission have bought air tickets to go and return home safely.

Receiving the Le 30M cheque on behalf of colleague participants, Kadiatu Mariama Bangura expressed thankfulness to God for the timely facilitation and actualization of their trip to Tanzania and expressed appreciation to the Commission, Government and all those that contributed in to the process.

“I prayed that we win price and return home with laurels to bring happiness among fans”, she concluded.

APC ‘ALEJOS’ TO JOIN FORCES TO WIN KABALA COUNCIL CHAIR

By Sayoh Kamara      

The battle is drawn and the stakes gone high as to which political party will win the bye elections for the Chairmanship of the Koinadugu District Council.

Indications from across the district are that the All People’s Congress (APC) party’s candidate is poised to win the bye election slated for 2nd October instant.

The APC is slated to canvass on the 30th of September, 2021, which is the last day of campaigning in the district ahead of the 2nd October polls.

It is expected therefore that most of the district’s Big Vons will throng to Kabala to be part of what party stalwarts have referred to as the “Big Push” to regain the Chairmanship of the district council.

In the main time, the district executive and party members have been out and about campaigning since the start of scheduled campaigns announced by the National Electoral Commission (NEC).

Because the APC holds dear the sanctity of Koinadugu District as an important political stronghold in the North, they have left no stone unturned in reaching out to the people in every nook and cranny; canvassing them to go out and vote for the APC candidate.

The message to the people has been very simple and straightforward, according to Dr. Kaifala Marah, the substantive APC Chairman in the district.

“If you are feeling the teeth of the economic situation and the rising costs of living coupled with the stopping of all major socioeconomic infrastructural development programmes in the district, vote for the APC as a way of pulling yourself from the current hardship and bad governance the country is facing currently,” Dr. Marah explained.

He said because the popularity of the APC with the people of Koinadugu District, the campaign teams have been spread out to cover a wide range of towns and villages across the district. The teams were divided to include women, men and the youth, with each team member having specially designed messages for their audiences.

The APC party known for its massive pro-poor programmes is seriously closing ranks with it’s disgruntled members and supporters following the 2018 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

A recently concluded High Court ordered Emergency Delegates Conference concluded on a peaceful footing setting the pace of the APC surge to galvanize, coordinate and unify it’s broad support base to clinch back State House and Parliament in 2023.

It is not known whether the members of the Regional and National Executives would be going to Kabala to had flavour to the Big Push rally, but indications are that Kabala town and it’s immediate environs are due to be turned RED on Thursday, 30th September 2021.

“This Big Push rally in Kabala could be a litmus test in how a united APC party can form the next government in 2023,” a political analyst commented.

Building Contractor Jailed  6 yrs For Killing  Friend

 By Feima Sesay

 Justice Musu Damba Kamara of the Court of Appeal has yesterday, 29th September,2021 sentenced one Ibrahim Sesay, a building contractor to six years imprisonment for killing his best friend Osman Jalloh.   The convict ,            Twenty-eight year  old Ibrahim Sesay was found guilty of killing his friend in August, 2020 during a fight.

The convict pleaded guilty on the offence of manslaughter and the maximum penalty by law is life imprisonment.

The court said  the incident occurred on 18th August 2020 and  that the convict had already spent one year on remand since his arrest at the time of the incident.

State Prosecuting Counsel Elizabeth Titty Jalloh said the accused and the deceased worked at a construction site at Deeper life, Allen Town Freetown.

She said on 18th August 2020, the deceased demanded for some money from his payment and requested that the convict who was the lead contractor called the contracting party to inform them about his request, but that he refused.

 According to her, the convict had also noted that the workers had already been deposited with part payment and they had agreed to receive the remaining money upon completion of the work.

But the deceased Osman Jalloh insisted on his demand. The court said  an argument broke out between the two which led to a fight which eventually led to the death of Osman Jalloh.

After the prosecuting counsel had briefed the Judge on the facts, the convict Ibrahim Sesay confirmed that what Lawyer Jalloh said had said about the case was the truth ; he expressed regret for his action; noting  that it was not intentional as he did not mean to kill the deceased.

In his plea on behalf of the convict, Defence Lawyer Komba Kanu said the convict wasted no time by pleading guilty.

He appealed to the Judge to temper justice with mercy for a minimum sentence not exceeding five years.

Wife of the deceased informed the court that his late husband left her with three children ages; 3, 12 and 16.

 She asked the court to support her in taking care of the children as she has no means of getting money to support them. She said her late husband was the bread winner of the family and that since his death they had been lacking and going through a lot of hardship.

In light of this, Justice Musu Damba Kamara ruled that Ibrahim Sesay serve a jail term of six years; including the time he had spent in remand.

Immediately the Judge pronounced her verdict, the convict thanked Justice Musu Kamara for her verdict and left the duck with a smiling face

Nine Sentenced To 7 Months In Prison For Riotous Conduct                                                                                     By Feima Sesay                                                                                                                                               Magistrate Hadiru Daboh of Ross Road Court No.3 has sentenced nine persons to seven months each imprisonment, ordered them to pay a total fine of twenty seven million Leones after they pleaded guilty of throwing stones, bottles and other weapons at the Milla Group of Companies compound on Monday 20th September 2021.

After delivering his verdict, Magistrate Daboh condemned the act committed by the convicts and said his sentence must serve as deterrent and warning to others that violence should be minimize if not put to an end.

It was a sad day for relatives and friends of the convicts as they shed tears upon hearing the judgment handed down by the presiding Magistrate Hadiru Daboh that the convicts should serve a jail term of seven month including a fine of three million Leones each.

According to Magistrate Daboh, lawlessness has become the order of the day, condemned all forms of violence and said there should be a stop to lawlessness in the country, adding that this sentence is to serve as deterrent and warning to others that his court does not tolerate such. Criminality in the form of violently harassing well meaning citizens must be discourage, and the court must seen and trusted in deterring criminality in form of riotous conduct in the country, Magistrate Hadiru Daboh said and added, there should be tranquility in the society and citizens especially the youth should maintain the peace and harmony.

The convicts – Mustapha Lamin, Ibrahim Conteh, Saidu Thoronka, Abdul Karim Mansaray, Abass Sesay, Abubakarr Kamara, Lamin Kanu, and Jawara Conteh were convicted on counts one and three; riotous conduct, and throwing missiles.

Whiles on count two which was disorderly behavior, they were acquitted and discharged as according to Magistrate Daboh, it was bad in law. Prior to the sentence, defense counsel Maddieu Sesay in his plea in mitigation pleaded with the bench to pardon the convicts who he said did not wasted the court time by pleading guilty.                   He added, the convicts have darken the walls of the male correctional centre and have been reformed and begged him to give them a minimum sentence considering their financial status and the fourteen day they have spent in prison. Whiles the associating counsel Hindolo Gevao craved for justice to be done in the matter.

It could be recalled that earlier on, some workers of Milla Group were allegedly caught stealing onions from supplied bags of onion belonging to customers and were charged to court after being arrested on the scene by the Police.

This caused some colleague workers and others to go on the rampage, demanding that the company release those who were accused of stealing.

Sierra Leone’s First Lady, Her Excellency, Madam Fatima Maada Bio has today Wednesday 29 September 2021, arrived in Dubai, United Arab Emirates ahead of the opening ceremony of the Dubai EXPO 2020 scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday 30th September 2021.

Her Excellency, who doubles as Sierra Leone’s Commissioner General for the EXPO, is in the Gulf state on the invitation of the UAE leadership and the organizers of the mega exhibition event.

The Dubai EXPO 2020 is expected to run from the 1st October 2021 to March 31st 2022 with over 190 participating countries. The event will provide a unique platform for participating countries to showcase their opportunities, create networks and attract investment.

Madam First Lady was received by Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the UAE, Rashid Sesay.

The Rotaract Club of  Freetown  Sunset has donated huge some of school bags, books, Pens, Pencils and other school learning materials to  Pupils of Maynard Rural Education Community School at Kossoh town / Hastings in the western rural area. The donation took place on the  27th of September 2021.

 According to the members of the club  it established on the ‘’principle of humanitarianism, friendship and the development of leadership & professional skills.’’

The move they said form part of   their yearly activities and in support of the Government Free Quality Education.

    ‘’Our funding is within the Club and with the help of some Rotarians; our mentors who  helped in and so the donation worth six million, two hundred and fifteen thousand Leones (Le 6,215,000)’’ Said , Mamudu Konta Jalloh who heads the Club.

According to President Jalloh  they have been implementing projects within the Western Urban but this time around they see the need  to  extend a helping hand to the Western Rural .

In his statement to the beneficiaries, he appealed to them take their school work very  serious and that they should take good care of the items and make use of  them for their rightful  purposes .

Ending , called on young people to join Rotaract and serve humanitarianism.

  one of the senior teachers of the school Gershon Davies, thanked the Rotaract Club for giving them what he described as a helping hand at this crucial moment .

 He appealed to the club members to continue to help them .

Africans: Power Must Be Fought for; And Earned!

At the 76th General Assembly of the United Nations, Africa –  led by Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo, and Sierra Leonean President, Retired Brigadier Maada Bio – again called out for the inclusion of (this time) “two” African countries as “Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council” – about the highest global power-club that is the exclusive preserve of the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China: “The Big 5”!  United States-based prolific  Sierra Leonean  audio analyst, about 76 years old Kutubu Koroma, in an audio and prose message posted in THE OSWALD HANCILES COLUMN Whatsapp forum on September 21, 2021…. rained derision like he was throwing feces (‘kaka’) on Africa for their audacious demand: “It will not ever …ever be possible”; it’s a “complete waste of time”; African countries are “too corrupt”; and they would likely “sell their votes” or receive “bribes” should they get into the Security Council as Permanent Members; African countries are “just spectators” at the UN; “no one takes them seriously”; they are “beggars”; they have “no foresight”; African nations should govern themselves “like civilized people” before making such demands.  There are truths of real politick in the contempt of Kutubu Koroma (who was born in Sierra Leone; migrated to the United States in his 20s; and after living about 50 years in the United States without once visiting his land of birth, has clearly mutated into a Republican-type American), but, there are Orwellian Big lies in the words of Kutubu Koroma. Africa has the moral right to demand to be a Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council.  I have a ‘secret card’ that Africa can play to gain entrance into that esoteric power-club.

Kutubu spoke 70% of the Truth.  Four of the five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council were Second World War “Allies” – 1939 to 1945 –  that won the war against Germany. It was a ferocious war.  Russia lost 10,700,000 military personnel; and 24,000,000 civilians.  China lost 4,000,000 soldiers; and 20,000,000 civilians. The United States lost 416,800 soldiers; United Kingdom lost 383,600 soldiers; France lost 217, 600 soldiers and 567,000 civilians in that war.  The Big-5 created and have earned their place in the United Nations Security Council with BLOOD and IRON.  The Permanent Members of the UN Security Council is not a place for LOSERS – like Germany that lost 5,553,000 military personnel, and 8,800,000 civilians during that war.  Japan, another LOSER, lost 2,120,000 military personnel, and 3,100,000 civilians (including the fame or infamy of the only nation that nuclear bombs have been dropped on – to end the Second World War).  It’s not a place ‘for sorri hart’ – for nations like Poland that lost 240,000 soldiers, and 5,600,000 civilian deaths; or, India, that lost 87,000 soldiers and 2,500,000 civilians. And it is not just yesterday’s blood, sweat, and tears and suffering that the Big 5 rely on; they have awesome military and economic POWER today.

 The United States is the Indisputable Greatest Global Power

The United States annual military expenditure is $778 billion – that is 39% of total global military expenditure of $1.8 trillion.  China’s annual military expenditure is $252 billion, 13% of global military expenditure.  United Kingdom’s military expenditure is $59.2 billion; France’s $52 billion; and Russia’s is $61 billion. Reread those figures – the military expenditure of all the other four of the Big 5 does not equal to the United States’.  How can Africa ask to seat with the United States and other such military giants? Nigeria’s military expenditure yearly is just about $2billion; Kenya, $1billion; and Ghana $237 million; and Sierra Leone $20

 The ROTARACT CLUB OF FREETOWN SUNSET is a Rotary sponsored club, officially chartered in September of 2016. The Club was established on the principles of humanitarianism, friendship and the development of leadership & professional skills.

As part of its yearly activities and in support of the Government Free Quality Education, the club has in today the 27th of September 2021, donated bags, books,Pens,Pencils and other learning materials to the Pupils of Maynard Rural Education Community School at Kossoh town / Hastings.

    Our funding is within the Club and with the help of some Rotarians our mentors who cheap in and the donation was worth six millions, two hundred and fifteen thousand leones (Le 6,215,000)

Statements: The President Mamudu Konta Jalloh said for far too long they have been implementing projects within the Western Urban but for his mandate, he sees the need as to why they should extend a helping hand to the Western Rural for they too deserves to be reckoned with. He admonished the Beneficiaries to take their work serious and take good care of the items donated to them. He closes his statement by calling on young people to join Rotaract and serve humanitarianism.

  According to one of the senior teachers of the school Gershon Davies, he thank the Rotaract Club for choosing their school amongst all other schools and cried to the club for always thinking about them in whatever development strides they might want to embark on in the future.

UN Country Team says mainstreaming of Migration forms part of its Core Work

By Alfred Fornah,

PR &Comms Assistant, IOM.

Dozens of  participants from UN Agencies in Sierra Leone on the 22nd September, 2021` gathered for a training on how to integrate migration into the Common Country Analysis (CCA) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF).

The training covered sessions with an in-depth overview on Migration Governance, the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals Agenda, Migration and the Common Country Analysis and the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework and Financing & funding the SDGs. 

The United Nations Resident Coordinator (RC) in Sierra Leone, Mr Babatunde Ahonsi, in his statement noted the importance of setting up the UN Network on Migration in Sierra Leone and also emphasized the relevance of migration to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development: “Agenda 2030 cannot be achieved without due consideration of migrants and mobility. As a cross-cutting issue, migration is relevant to all the 17 SDGs”.

The RC also explained that the inclusion of migration in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) present a momentous opportunity for the UN Country Team (UNCT) to systematically integrate migration into all relevant areas and stages of their work, in alignment with and as part of the implementation of these two frameworks.

IOM Deputy Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Ms Sophie Nonnenmacher, who facilitated the training said, “When we have a global and regional architecture like the UN Migration Network, the country network serves as a critical element in the set of tools.  Therefore, the network in-country can be a driving force to create more impacts”.  She added that the network also gives UN Agencies an entry point to help the Government of Sierra Leone address migration-related issues and implement the GCM objectives.

Tanzila Sankoh represented the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at the training. According to her, the exercise was timely and very useful especially at this time when the Common Country Analysis is being reviewed. “Migration related issues should be well captured and detailed in the CCA and the Cooperation Framework. It is necessary to even add migration into specific areas including the outputs and outcomes components of the framework”, she added.

The UN Network on Migration, established by the UN Secretary-General in 2018, has been tasked with ensuring coordinated UN system-wide support to States in implementing the GCM. In Sierra Leone, the National UN Network on Migration was launched on 1 June 2021, to facilitate effective, timely and coordinated UN system-wide support to Sierra Leone on migration governance.

Minister Commends Higher Education Institutions Needs Assessment Report

By Bampia James Bundu

The Minister of Technical and Higher Education, Professor Alpha Tejan Wurie, has launched the Needs Assessment Study Report on Higher Education Institutions in Sierra Leone done by the  Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), in the Great Hall of the Milton Margai Technical University, Goderich Campus.

Giving a background to the report, the Chairman Tertiary Education Commission, Professor Aliyageen Mohamed Alghali, explained that the Needs Assessment Study on Higher Education Institutions in Sierra Leone is the first of series of documents to be published by the TEC on the status and needs of higher education institutions in the country.

The institutions captured in the report, according to him, include both public and private universities, polytechnics and teacher training colleges accredited by the TEC.

Prof. Alghali said the report was the result of holistic, painstaking collection and recording of data provided by survey participants in various accredited Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and on-site verification visits by TEC staff under his supervision. “The study is evidence-based, graphic and in some cases grim,” he pointed out, adding that the key indicators are good governance, financial sustainability, staff and programmes quality, relevance of academic programmes, parity of esteem community services and effectiveness and efficiency of the service delivery system.

He expressed thanks and appreciations to the dedicated and hardworking team who worked with him throughout,  stating that the recommendations are in line with national and international benchmarks as well as the AU Agenda 2063 titled ‘The Africa We Want’.

Launching the report, the Minister of Technical and Higher Education, Professor Alpha Tejan Wurie, thanked the TEC for taking the bold step in evaluating and assessing the needs of public and private institutions across the country.

He maintained that the over 400 pages survey report now helps TEC to identify the strengths, weaknesses, skills and competency gaps in public and private universities nationwide.

The Minister recalled during the war in 1991 to 1996 upon the country’s return to democratic rule when the then government had a 40 or more million dollars support from the World Bank and the African Development Bank to uplift Sierra Leone to a basic operational level with focus mainly on primary and junior schools dubbed the Sababu Education  Project.

He lamented that much input has not been made to higher education in the country, saying the launch of the report will help give life to it.

Professor Wurie informed that the TEC was created in 2001 with clear mandate to advise government on issues that have to do with tertiary institutions and also to ensure that there is quality assurance in Higher Institutions.

He noted that the Commission has been in existence for almost 20 years, describing the report as timely and one that will stand the test of time.

The Minister asked his audience to go through the recommendations and come out with solid action points. 

Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Finance, the Deputy Director of Budget Madam Ilara Mahdi, described the report as timely more so when the Ministry of Finance is preparing the FY 2022 budget.

She assured the TEC of the ministry’s continued commitment towards providing enough resources to the education sector and informed that over the past three years the Ministry of Finance has been able to meet its target by providing 21% of the country’s budget to education, noting that by 2022 the ministry will be providing 22% budgetary support to education. This, she went  on, is in fulfillment of His Excellency’s commitment towards human capital development.

Statements were also made by the British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, the World Bank Country Manager, Head of EU Delegation in Sierra Leone, Embassy of Ireland, GIZ Country Director, among others.

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