Residents of the Sierra Leone-Liberia Border at Bo Waterside, Jendema , Soro Gbeima Chiefdom, Pujehun District, Southern Sierra Leone has showered praises on Government and the ECOWAS Commission for the show of commitment to development within their Community.
These glorious sentiments were expressed during a presentation of token ceremony to the Zombo Land Owning Family, activity, which was championed by Dr. Francis Kai-Kai, Sierra Leone Minister of Planning and Economic Development (MoPED) and ECOWAS, for their deed of goodwill for a 20 acres piece of land granted to government for the construction of a Cross Border Post between Sierra Leone and Liberia.
In his opening remarks, Foday Yusif Kamara, District Officer, who doubles as chairman for the occasion, thankfully appreciated the government and the ECOWAS Commission through the ministry of planning and Economic Development for making the project a reality.
In his welcome address, PC Mustapha J. Massaquoi III, heartily welcomed the team from Freetown to the Soro Gbeima Chiefdom, described Minister Kai-Kai as a personality synonymous to development.
He expressed appreciation and gratitude to the team and the ECOWAS Commission for choosing his Chiefdom for such a compacted project, which he confessed, will contribute to both infrastructure and Economic development within the Pujehun District.
Saffa Kanneh, ECOWAS Desk Officer, within MoPED, stated that the border posts are of utmost importance to ECOWAS Member States, and especially to regional integration, as they will facilitate and boost trade between ECOWAS Member States and contribute to ECOWAS’ mission of promoting economic integration between its member states.
He said the joint border posts will ensure better trade facilitation through a one-stop customs, simplify customs procedures, improve cooperation and coordinate controls, that would encourage the sharing of data and intelligence, and step up the fight against fraud.
He disclosed that the joint borders activities are part of the project – Technical Assistance to The ECOWAS Commission for the Implementation of the 10th EDF Transport Facilitation Project II, which commenced in April 2018.
He noted the efforts of government in making sure that work commences towards achieving better regional integration and reduce trade, administrative and financial barriers to road transport in West Africa.
Madam Tata Koroma, Women’s leader, SoroGbeima Chiefdom, while making a case for women and children to be captured in the transformative drive of government, appreciated the team for such a momentous project, noted the boost it would create to their local economic activities, and also ensuring the nearness of government to them.
Mohamed Bondokai Zombo, Head, Zombo family, on behalf thanked the Minister and ECOWAS for such an amazing initiative, expressed appreciation and support to the success of the project.
Whiles receiving the resource package, noted that the token will be temporary, but the project would positively impacted generations to come.
On his part, whiles making his keynote remarks and presentation of the resource Token to the District Officer, Dr. Francis Kai-Kai, who is also a Son of the District, on behalf of government and the ECOWAS Commission appreciated the Zombo Family and the People of Soro Gbeima Chiefdom for their show of goodwill in granting a 20 acres piece of lands to host such an important project that would connect Sierra Leone to Liberia, thereby ensuring transformative approaches to inter-state trade, free movement of people, security issues, and the mobilization of resources through the National Revenue Authority.
He expressed satisfaction over the great commitment demonstrated by the community to owning the project, where he also recognized the relentless efforts of local authorities, MDAs, Women and Youths; he expressed government’s commitment to the project; gave tribute to the economic history of Jendema, which he said wasn’t pleasant to both residents and officials on post, and was neglected, but went further to explain about the recent development in-roads made by government to improve on the lives of people.
“The multi-stakeholders project intends to boost our local economies through the creation of job, thereby bringing government closer to the People. The project also includes the provision of basic amenities, such as schools, community centers , Hand dug to express President Bio’s Tok and Do concept”. Added Dr. Kai-Kai
He assured the gathering of H. E. President Julius Maada Bio’s commitment to development of their district, where he admonished them on the Russia-Ukraine war effect on effective service delivery.
In attendance also were representatives from Ministry of Lands, the HRMO, the Immigration Department, the NRA, ONS to name a few. A site seeing was done after the meeting.