NDMA Incident Center Coordinates Support to Kroo Bay Fire Victims

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By Anthony Vandy

After the fire incident at Kroobay on Sunday 19th September 2021, the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) established an ‘INCIDENT COMMAND CENTER’ (ICC) at the disaster location, for effective coordination to the victims involved.

On the 27th September 2021, the NDMA Incident Command Center wishes to inform the general public that it has received assorted items from partners’ intervention, to maintain the livelihood of the concerned victims of the fire outbreak. Items received so far and from the corresponding agencies and distributed to the victims are as follows:

NDMA has donated 36 Pieces of Tarpaulins for 34 households, out of the 36, 32 beneficiaries have received their share, two pending and two returned to NDMA.

GOAL-SL provided 137 bags of rice, 135 beneficiaries have received their share, one bag returned to GOAL-SL due to no claimant, and two absentees are pending for collection. 

CONCERN-SL also provided 500,000.00 x 137 for the affected persons; 131 have benefited so far; six people did not show up and sum remitted to CONCERN-SL.

There is an on-going wet feeding for 15 days, 137 mattresses, 137 blankets and assorted used clothing are all pending distribution.

137 Disaster relief kits received, inclusive: radio set, two blankets, two sets of cooking pots, one tarpaulin and utility rope. One small Jerry can, five table plates, spoons, stickers, knives, cups and cooking spoons. These items are yet to be distributed.

Save the Children has vouched to conduct 1 Wet feeding x 1 Day for the victims.

The National Disaster Management Agency reminded the public that the INCIDENT COMMAND CENTRE comes into effect based on the magnitude of an incident. We thank all those who continue to tender their support through the ICC, making the work of NDMA regimented.

NO FUNDING FOR AWARENESS WEEK, AS…

S/L NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THE DEAF ACCUSED OF NEGLECT

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    Deaf Association President, Pa Alhaji Mohamed Rahman and Deaf Football Team 

One of the leading disable organizations in the country, Sierra Leone National Association of the Deaf (SLNAD) have blamed the National Commission for Persons Living with Disability (NCPD) for an alleged discrimination and neglect of their annual activities, including the International Awareness Week of the Deaf commemoration and the West Africa Deaf Football Tournament, scheduled to take place in the City of Banjul the Gambia on October, 2021.

Speaking to a cross section of journalists in a hurried mood yesterday in Freetown, President for SLNAD, Alhaji Mohamed Rahman informed the media that they had earlier submitted their budget for the said activities to management, but no feedback has yet to come from responsible authorities in the Commission.

Mr. Rahman blamed the Executive Secretary of NCPD, Saa Lamin Kortorquee for not approving their budget up to date, adding that their outlined activities will not be held as planned because, he said “we are still battling to raise fund for the two activities underway”.

He discussed that the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Kortorquee have already disappointed them to hold their Deaf Awareness Week celebration in Kailahun District, emphasizing that “I have never receive funding from NCPD for sign language training in Pujehun”.

President Rahman highlighted that they have only received money twice for sign language training from Taiwo Cullen and not from the Commission directly since the passing or the enactment of the Disability Act 2011.

Mr. Rahman alleged that the Commission is supporting various programs and activities of some disability groups except SLNAD which he said, had never get funding support from the said Commission.

However, President Rahman further deliberated that SLNAD has branches at Bo and Kenema in the South East, alleging that, the Commission had never give a helping hand to the Association office branch in Bo City, while Kenema branch, he said, had received support from the Commission once and they are still waiting for the approval of the proposal they sent since last year.

Responding to damning allegations, Research Manager for NCPD, (name withheld) maintained that the Commission had being supporting organizations working on disability issues, adding that the deaf association was not an exception.

He recalled that recently, the Commission funded a Sign Language Interpreter that travelled down to Pujehun to help interpret a case which involved a hearing impaired girl, advancing that they had supported other speech and hearing impaired organizations in capacity building.

“We are perturbed to get such negative feedback or allegation coming up from the press” he told reporters and revealed the plain truth that the Commission had only received subvention for the first quarter.

As a Commission, Research Manager said, all their programs for this year were designed directly in line with livelihood activities and lamented that the Sierra Leone Union on Disability Issues (SLUDI) is the umbrella body for all disabled organizations.

The Research Manager highlighted that the Commission had supported SLUDI to host their forth-coming elections and described accusation that the Commission is not supporting or neglecting activities of SLNAD as false, misleading and had potential to bring down the hard won integrity of the disabled commission.

Research Manager concluded that “it pains us at the Commission to see and hear few people making baseless accusations against a reputable organization like NCPD.

PRA to Generate Le821.4 Billion in 2022

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Dr. Baluwa Koroma, Executive Chairman Petroleum Regulatory Agency

By Amara Kargbo

The Petroleum Regulatory Agency (PRA) has projected that it will generate Le821, 487,647,327.61 billion in the fiscal year 2022 for the government.

Dr. Baluwa Koroma, Executive Chairman of PRA presented their budget yesterday, at the Ministry of Finance and assured the budget technical personnel and stakeholders that his Agency will generate such revenue based on the proactive reforms the Agency had developed and introduced guidelines for the downstream activities counting the construction of gas stations; importation of petroleum product; traders’ license; transshipment and bulk storage.

The agency has also created a strategic relationship with the Ghana National Petroleum Authority that will support the ongoingreforms to introduce district monitoring officers in all fourteen districts across the country to support the agency to enforce its mandate in terms of price uniformity, anti-smuggling, hoarding, health safety, and environment.

The establishment of strategic storage like the current construction All Petroleum Products will have a 10,000 metric capacity for government strategic stock. Adding,  that the  PRA continues to review the automatic Fuel Pricing formula in consultation with the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Trade and Industry, and there is a pending review in 2022 quarter one.

Executive Chairman pointed out the priority focus of the agency that,  they want to open the market space and restore fairness, improve petroleum industry infrastructure and compliance to the petroleum laws, and improved revenue generations.

He chatted the way forward of the agency that they will be embarking on robust monitoring and inspections on all petroleum infrastructures and introducing mobile containerizing tanks for mining and agricultural sectors.

The Executive Chairperson said the daily consumption rate of petroleum products is currently more than 1.2 in 2021 which will double between 2022nand 2024.

However, Sierra Leone remains a non-oil producing country and the petroleum downstream industry remains a highly demanded sector, the industry contributes about 15% to the domestic revenue, low storage facility, frequent replenishment period and the threat of sales disruption and only three petroleum distributors, two importers, one petroleum jetty are in the country, he mentioned.

Dr. Bauwa Koroma emphasized that there is no government participation in the entire value chain in the sector, limited operators, only one importer of Jet A-1 and Kerosene, the industry has  90 branded gas stations and over 250 retailers nationwide with 50 in the pipeline.

The Execute Chairman commented, even though they are generating huge revenue for the state, but they getting 1.5% of total revenue generating by the sector, and as a liquid sector they are operating with people that have cash and the PRA personnel are on the street checking gas stations and they need to be motivated so they would not be carried away by these dealers.

Santigie Charles Conteh, Deputy Director of Public Debt Management at the Ministry of Finance made his comments of enticing the government to support the sector, but he similarly clarified that the sector is highly capital intensive, and government should need to generate enough sufficient and huge capital base to sustain the sector. The intervention of the government into the sector will minimize the challenges the sector is encountering and encouraging PRA Boss that they will escalate it to authority.

Residual Special Court President, 5 Others Subscribe to Oath as Notary Public

Judiciary of Sierra Leone Communications, CJ’s Conference room, Tuesday, 28th September 2021, Law Courts Building in Freetown: * The President of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone, Honourable Justice Jon Kamanda and five other successful lawyers with reputable standing at the Bar have subscribed to the oath of a Notary Public before the Honourable Chief Justice, His Lordship Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards.

In exercise of the authority vested in him, the Hon. Chief Justice has the power under Section 2 of the Notaries Public Act, Chapter 13 of the Laws of Sierra Leone, 1960 to appoint fit and proper person from the Sierra Leone Bar of over ten years standing as Notary Public and the same to perform the duties and exercise the functions of such office anywhere in country.

Speaking at the occasion, the Hon. Chief Justice referred to the appointees as officers of the Court, stressing that their tasks require a high sense of ‘probity and integrity’ in the execution of their duties.

“You’ll be required to validate signatures, documents, oaths and affidavits of witnesses as well as witnesses’ declarations for outside use. It requires a high level of independence, integrity, impartiality, and fairness,’’ the Hon. Chief Justice said.

While he reposed confidence in the appointees, the Hon. Chief Justice urged them to consider their appointments as an “honour, respect and accolade” bestowed on them.

He said, “I have no doubt that those that I have appointed for this task fit the role and you’re going to do it with aplomb and dexterity and everybody will be proud of you. I have done you proud by appointing you as Notary Public and it’s left with you now to do us the honour in doing that job with effective and efficient deliberation.”

The appointees also included Dr. Tuma Adama Jabbi; the Deputy Master of the High Court, Lansanah Kotor-Kamara; Derek Samuel Edward Beoku-Betts; Joseph Fofanah and Len Gordon-Harris.

The Hon.  Justice Jon Kamanda was Senior State Counsel in 1976 and Judge of the Court of Appeal between 2004 to 2008. He was Appeals Chamber Judge of the Special Court of Sierra Leone between 2008 to 2013 and a three-term President of the Sierra Leone Special Court.

He was former Member of Parliament for Kono Central from 1982 to 1986 and Minister of State in the Ministry of Mines between 1982 to 1986. He was also Minister of Health in 1996 and former Managing Director of the National Diamond Mining Company between 1987 to 1992.

Justice Kamanda is a graduate from Fourah Bah College, then affiliated to Durham University and was called to the Bar Middle Temple Inns of Court in 1975 in United Kingdom. 

Dr. Tuma Adama Jabbi holds an Honorary Doctor of Law Degree (LL.D.) and a Master Class Certificate in Business Management and Leadership from the Commonwealth University and London Graduate School. She also earned a Master of Law Degree (LLM), certificate and Diploma in Corporate and Business Law from the University of Central England in Birmingham.

She also holds a Bachelor of Law Degree from De Montfort University in Leicester, United Kingdom and a Barrister at Law (BL) from the Sierra Leone Law School. She lectures Revenue Law at the University of Sierra Leone, a course she pioneered and have written extensively in that area. 

Dr. Tuma is the Sierra Leone Bar Association representative at the Council of Legal Education, the body responsible for Legal education in Sierra Leone and was recently reappointed by the President of Sierra Leone, His Excellency Rtd. Dr. Julius Maada Bio as Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the National Revenue Authority (NRA) for a second term. She is married to Mr. Mohamed Gento- Kamara and are blessed with beautiful kids.

Notaries Public are officials appointed not only to deter fraud but to serve the public in non-contentious matters including witnessing the signing of documents and verifying signatories and instruments such as probate of wills and conveyances among others. They are also authorised to authenticate documents such as Estates, Deeds, Powers of Attorney, Affidavits, Licenses, Contracts and Loan documents.

Thanking the Hon. Chief Justice on behalf of her colleagues, Dr. Tuma Adama Jabbi said they were gratified and extremely honoured for the confidence bestowed on them.

She assured the Chief Justice that they’ll uphold the core values of their profession to the best of their abilities as officers of the High Court.

She said, “My Lord Chief Justice, we’ll definitely make you proud. We’re also aware that we’re officers of the High Court of Sierra Leone and I assure you on behalf of my colleagues that we’ll definitely continue to uphold whatever values that we’ve been upholding in the past that brought us here.”  

National Shipping Company Urges Govt. to Enforce Shipping Acts

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Managing Director, Saybom Kanu of SLNSC

By: Amara Kargbo

Saybom Kanu, Managing Director at the Sierra Leone National Shipping Company (SLNSC) asked the Ministry of Finance through the government to support the enactment and implementation of shipping Acts.

The Managing Director said this at the current 2022 Fiscal Year Budget Discussion that the SLNSC is getting efficient supports from the government, a company which the government determines to improve its operations activities, equally to enable the SLNSC to be paying its dividend.

He mentioned that in 2019, SLNSC through the Ministry of Finance was able to acquire the 2019 Financial Act, which stipulates that all Ministries Department and Agencies and State-owned Enterprises should do clearing and forwarding with the SLNSC. He strongly informed the Fiscal Risk Management Division at the ministry of finance that most of these MDAs are not complying with the above Act, rather a lot of MDAs are operating with private shipping agencies which its impacts have been seriously affecting the company projected revenue generation.

The Managing Director pleads with the ministry of finance to help the company to enforce such an Act because shipping plays a significant role in the ‘Blue Economy,’ which the Ministry of Finance has identified as economic diversification as one of its objectives.

He referenced that in the 70s the SLNSC had ships and vessels whose mainstay was shipping within the company domain that transformed the shipping company through the Sierra Leone Carrier Act of 2012 that makes provision that all Mining Companies including Petroleum Companies should give 40% of their shipment to the SLNSC.

The Managing Director told the Fiscal Risk Management Division that if all mining companies in the country do shipment with the company, he said in three months,  the Sierra Leone National Shipping Company will not only declared state dividend but will as well support government programmes.

He pointed some unearth challenges his company is experiencing that the undue advantage by Port Operators over SLNSC by acting as shipping and Clearing forwarding  Agents at the same time, delay in payment for Government consignment from various ministries, and weak regulatory environment for clearing and forwarding businesses.

He reiterated that the Sierra Leone National Shipping Company has been one of the State-owned Enterprises that government had repositioned to be generating revenue for the state.

Saybom Kanu mentioned that the company has been able to undertake it activities with specific companies including, the Kingho Mining Company, in 2021 the Kingho Company started complying with the Sierra Leone National Carrier Act, and through the compliance of Kingho the SLNSC this year has been able to handle Supermax (small ships) and Cape Size,( the biggest that comes along the coast).

He stated that one of the ideal options to modernize the company is when the shipping goes mainstream shipping.

Dr. Alimamy S. Mansaray, Director of Fiscal Risk Management Division Ministry of Finance, made his observations to the SLNSC that the percentage of the staff cost decrease so the company will show better efficiency in their operations and management.

Dr. Mansaray continued that the ministry will start doing performance targets and benchmarks for all State-owned Enterprises and their target is to move from 25% as the volume increasing, and the company should streamline its employment and not make the SLNSC insufficient. 

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