The Seventh Report of the Committee on Appointments and the Public Service, chaired by the Leader of Government Business, Hon. Mathew Sahr Nyuma has on Tuesday, 12 October 2023 debated and approved by Parliament.
The following presidential nominees were approved by the House:
1: Mrs. Musayeroh Barrie, Director General- Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA)
2: Mr. Fodie Jangah Konneh, Executive Officer- National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA)
3: Prof. Foday Sahr, Executive Director – National Public Health Agency (NPHA)
4: Prof. Albert Aiah Gbakima, Chairman, Board of Directors – National Public Health Agency (NPHA)
5. Dr. Joseph Kaifala, Chairman – Monuments and Relics Commission
6. Mr. Ahmed Atata Mansaray, Commissioner – National Youth Commission and
7. Dr. Abu-Bakarr S. Massaquoi, Chairman – Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Presenting the 7th Report, the Leader of Government Business told Members of Parliament and the Speaker that all the nominees were interviewed on established procedures including educational background, experience, track records, tax obligation and vision for productive tenure for their respective offices.
Seconding the motion, the Deputy Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business 1, Hon. Bashiru Silikie commended the President for the appointments of qualified Sierra Leoneans and underscored the power of the President to appoint qualified persons into positions of trust. He called on the nominees not to let the President down and the Parliament of Sierra Leone in executing their functions. He urged parliamentary oversight committees to carry out their duties, in order to properly monitor the activities of MDAs.
Zooming on the nominee for NPPA, the Deputy Leader described him as an intelligent young man whose dedication to work is uncompromising and advised him to regulate the procurement sector well.
While contributing to the debate, Deputy Chief Whip 2, Hon. Ibrahim Tawa Conteh used the occasion to clarify that a high tax on air tickets was arranged by the previous government. He heaped blame on the former APC government for the enactment of such laws. He said the 2017 Finance Bill established those taxes and called for them to be reviewed to address the high tax on air tickets.
The MP categorically said that, if agriculture is to succeed, then manpower needs to be improved in the farming sector. Speaking about illegal drugs, he called on the police to stop arresting those who are buying the Kush, but rather to arrest the manufacturers.
He also called on the two professors to work together in the Public Health Agency to actualize the dream of the President and went on to advise the nominees to respect the call of Parliament when called upon on issues of State Affairs.
Hon. Bernadette Wuyatta Songa applauded the appointment of the aviation boss and went on to call on her to serve well. In the health sector, she called on the the two professors to do the needful to help the State with health-related issues, and also called for more public education on health-related issues, particularly the upcoming vaccines immunization.
Hon. Hindolo Gevao buttressed that the police should arrest the importers of Kush rather than the buyers and dilated on the negative impacts it had on the young generation. On the Civil Aviation Authority appointee, Hon. Gevao described her as a dedicated woman and called on her and the other nominees to work in line with the President’s agenda for the development of the State.
Hon. Rebecca Y. Kamara who doubles as a Member of the Committee on Appointments and Public Service said she was very impressed with their appointments. The MP went to call on the appointee on the Monuments and Relics Commission to address the cultural gaps that have existed within the Sierra Leonean society. On the issues of Climate Change, Hon. Rebecca Y. Kamara called on the EPA appointee to address issues surrounding the impacts of climate change and also used the occasion to advise all the nominees to deliver in the interests of the State.
In Rounding up the debate, the Acting Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Alfred Ayodele Thompson applauded the nominees and wished them well in their new assignments. He called on the appointees to work in the interests of the people and forget about political party’s affiliation. On Health related issues, he called for the right vaccines to be given to the people of Sierra Leone.
In concluding the debate, the Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business, Hon. Mathew Sahr Nyuma said the previous head of the Relics Commission had done a lot and urged the incoming head to develop and improve on the Relics Commission. He called on the two professors to work together to help promote and develop the health sector. He called on MPs to protect the citizens of Sierra Leone in light of illegal drugs including kush, marijuana, cocaine, and other harmful substances. He said victims of these drugs should not be marginalized but rather they should be rehabilitated back into society. “Those drug dealers should be arrested and put behind bars” he said. The Leader called on related agencies to act now and implement the laws of the State to combat the illegal drug supply into the market. “Let us work together to serve in the interests of the State” he concluded.
In his congratulatory remarks to the nominees, the Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament, Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu said there were no questions on their qualifications. He called on them to live up to the expectations of the President and that of Parliament. He expressed hope that based on the nominees’ qualifications, they would not fail the nation and wished them well in their new assignments.