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Friday, June 14, 2024

President Bio Urges Cabinet Recalibration at Ministerial Retreat

By Amin Kef Sesay

President Dr. Julius Maada Bio delivered a powerful address at the opening of a two-day Ministerial Retreat in Galliness Conference Hall, Bo City, urging his cabinet to recalibrate their actions to better serve the national agenda. The retreat, which began on May 21, 2024, gathered Ministers, Deputies, Permanent Secretaries and Senior Civil Servants to refocus their efforts on the Government’s promises to the people of Sierra Leone.

Describing the retreat as timely, President Bio emphasized the theme: “Deepening Coordination, Collaboration for Accelerated Service Delivery.” He stressed the importance of speaking hard truths and making necessary adjustments to advance the national agenda within the limited timeframe available.

President Bio highlighted the significant responsibility shouldered by his Government officials, reminding them of their commitment to serve the nation. He reflected on the achievements of his first term, including advancements in women’s participation in politics and the economy, improvements in foundational education for children and the enhancement of democratic spaces. However, he acknowledged that those efforts were not enough.

“I put this team together because I cannot do this work alone,” President Bio stated. He called on his team to step up, noting the high expectations of the Sierra Leonean people amidst economic and social challenges. He observed a lack of dynamism in addressing complex problems and urged for a renewed commitment to drive change.

Addressing the Vice President, Chief Minister, and assembled Ministers, President Bio emphasized the need for candid discussions about their responsibility to deliver on the ‘Big Five Game Changers.’ He declared that the time for excuses and problem narration had ended, urging officials to focus on solutions.

President Bio reminded his team of the promises made to the people of Sierra Leone, asserting, “Salone for betteh, na only we go do wam.” He called for unwavering commitment and determination to lead effectively in challenging contexts.

The President also stressed the importance of team cohesion, tolerance, respect, mutuality trust, and equality. He addressed reports of hostile relationships between some Ministers and their Deputies, insisting that effective teamwork is crucial for fulfilling ministerial mandates.

He concluded by urging Ministers to delegate tasks, provide direction and motivation, reduce bureaucratic red tape and set ambitious yet achievable targets for timely delivery. “No one can do this job alone,” President Bio stated, emphasizing the need for a culture of team planning and collaboration.

The Ministerial Retreat aims to foster a more effective and coordinated Government approach to meet the high expectations of the Sierra Leonean people.

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