By Edward Vamboi
At the Bintumani Conference Centre on the 25 February 2020 His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio opened the first-ever Presidential Seminar for all 83 Heads of Commissions, parastatals, agencies and state-owned enterprises.
With the theme: “Consolidating the Foundation for Service Delivery”, the Seminar, among other objectives, seeks to provide the officials with political orientation and to help them accelerate effective service delivery to the last mile from 2020 and beyond, deepen the understanding of a performance management system that enhances organizational output.
Delivering his welcome address, Chief Minister, Professor David John Francis, said that the event was a historic one because it was the first time in modern Sierra Leone that a sitting President would meet with all heads of institutions at one go. He said that the seminar was important because it recognized that Commissions, parastatals, agencies and state-owned enterprises were an important component of state governance.
He also mentioned that all the agencies must clearly understand, remain committed and be inspired by the President’s New Direction Agenda to change and transform Sierra Leone, and more importantly, to accelerate effective service delivery. He noted that since his election, President Bio had made consistent efforts to engage relevant stakeholders as a way of moving the country forward.
In his keynote address, President Bio said that his presence and the seminar itself was a clear manifestation of his recognition of the important role and contribution of commissions, parastatals, agencies and state-owned enterprises to the achievements of his New Direction Agenda to change and transform the lives of ordinary Sierra Leoneans.
He said that he had directed the Chief Minister to convene the Seminar because he wanted to clearly state and outline his political and governance expectations in the New Year in terms of concrete service delivery to the people, and more importantly, to focus on strategic planning and prioritization with clear and realistic targets to achieve results.
“I have declared 2020 as the Year of Accelerated Service Delivery: I want and I expect Delivery of Results and Outcomes from you this Year and I expect to see tangible results by the 2nd and 3rd Quarters of this Year. Simply, no more excuses. We are here to get a clear understanding of my political message to motivate and inspire you to focus on getting tangible results and outcomes that will impact on the lives of the people of Sierra Leone.
“Let me commend you all for all the successes and achievements you have made in the past 22 months in Governance. But this is a New Year and this is not the time to become complacent with our achievements. The people are impatient for results to impact on their daily lives. So as a Government, we must improve on the way we run our institutions,” he said.
President Bio also challenged the various institutional heads to be bold and innovative, adding that he wanted to motivate them to be inspired and to leave a legacy in their institutions which was what the New Direction was all about. He encouraged the various institutional heads to develop the professional habit and culture of efficient political and economic management of the State.