Historic Appointment For Kambia…APC, SLPP, NGC, C4C Celebrate New Finance Minister

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By: Mohamed M. Sesay

Honorable Members of all Political Parties in Parliament on Friday the 13th of January 2023, celebrated Sheku Ahmed Fantamadi Bangura as the first Finance Minister ever in the history of Kambia District and thereby, unanimously approved him.

The New Finance Minister Sheku Ahmed Fantamadi Bangura was approved together with the following Presidential Nominees; Ing. Alfred Jalil Momodu – Deputy Director General, Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA), Ing. Jacob Lahai – Tarlowoh – Member, Board of Directors, Road Maintenance Fund Administration (RMFA), and Mr. Edward M. Kpakra – Member, Independent Peace Commission – Southern Region.

Presenting the Presidential Nominees, the Leader of Government Business, Hon. Mathew Sahr Nyuma admonished that the nominees were interviewed on Thursday, 12/01/2023, at Committee Room One, Parliament Building in Freetown. He further disclosed that the nominees were interviewed based on specified criteria and procedures, not excluding the strict consistency of their educational background, track records, tax obligation, and vision for a nationally productive tenure among others.

Seconding the motion, the Deputy Leader of Government Business, Hon. Bashiru Silikie elucidated that President Bio has done his constitutional mandate in nominating people to promote his agenda. The Deputy Leader of Government Business expressed that the lazy attitude of some approved nominees could cause an attrition rate among Members of Parliament and also unseat government: “If these appointees perform, we would come back, and if they fail, we would not come back”, he noted. He however expressed optimism that the nominees would deliver in the interest of the State.

Hon. Dr. Mark-Mahmoud Kalokoh recounted the interview process of the nominees and informed the plenary that the latter possessed educational qualifications and experience. He encouraged the nominees to work in tandem with their interviews and to deliver in the interest of the state.

Hon. Dr. Mark Mahmound zoomed in on the Minister of Finance assuring all and sundry that the minister would be able to handle the State finance well. He also expressed hope that the New Finance Minister can build the state economy through taxation and would be a listening Minister and respecter of the rule of law. He continued to lavish praises on the Minister of Finance and joined others in thanking President Bio for a such historic appointment for Kambia.

The President of the Female Caucus, Hon. Veronica Kadie Sesay expressed her trust and confidence in the nominees and stated that the President did not make any mistake in appointing the nominees. She encouraged them to go and deliver. She advised them to work in tandem with the expected vision and interest of the State.

Hon. Ibrahim Tawa Conteh also thanked Ing. Momodu and recalled his generous relationship and friendship with him. He informed the House that the Minister of Finance is the first-ever appointee from Kambia District. He encouraged him to continue to perform in light of the economic transformation.

Hon. Neneh Lebbie congratulated the nominees and categorically informed them that there is no space for failure. She noted that President Bio wanted to achieve his manifesto and that is the more reason they are replacing others. She described Ing. Momomdu to be a very receptive man. She encouraged him to continue keeping up with the good work. She told the Minister of Finance to consider his position as the life wire of the country. She also advised Mr. Kpakra to work towards the enhancement of peace.

 The Leader of C4C, Hon. Emerson Saa Lamina, confidently stated that the recent appointment of Presidential Nominees is a testament to the fact that Sierra Leone still has f good people. He recalled the good work of Parliament and their devotion and commitment to approving budgets and other related works. He utilized the opportunity to ask the nominees to do as Parliament has done.

Hon. Saa Emerson Lamina lavished praises on all the nominees and thanked President Bio for his unflinching commitment to constructing roads. He further said that the nation needs peace experts like Mr. Kpakra who has undertaken pragmatic roles. He concluded by prevailing on colleague MPs to approve the nominees.

The Acting Leader of NGC, Hon. Foday Marion Kamara recalled his statement of endorsing the sacking of some state officers and that his prediction has come to pass. He also insisted on changing some financial policies for better economic transformation. He asked his colleagues to approve The Minister of Finance and advised the latter to improve the economy to reflect the welfare of the people.

The Acting Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Amadu Kanu recalled the scrutiny of the nominees and informed the House on how the nominees were properly interviewed and also told colleague MPs that they are adequately and suitably qualified for their various positions. He called on the House to approve them. He used the opportunity to advise the nominees and called on them to work well, particularly now that the country is approaching elections. “You nominees should live up to the expectations of the President”, he said.

In his congratulatory message to all the approved Presidential nominees,  the Rt. Hon. Speaker of the Fifth Parliament Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu, sent strong worded advice to the nominees to work in the interest of the State and encouraged them to work in tandem with President Bio’s developmental agenda.  Speaker Bundu congratulated the nominees on behalf of Parliament and wished them well in their new offices.

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