By Amin Kef Sesay
Consultant Economist, Prince Jacob Macauley who has worked with the IMF and World Bank has released his first ministerial scorecard which highlights the performances of ministries for the period under review.
Speaking at a press conference held at SLAJ conference hall on Monday 7th October, 2019, Mr. Macauley said the SLPP Government of Julius Maada Bio inherited a beleaguered economy devoid of fiscal discipline. He added that the Government, however, is striving assiduously to reverse the abysmal situation. He added that the President and his cabinet, as a consequence, have made impressive strides in setting the country on a new trajectory for which they must be highly commended.
‘In support of the President’s “New Direction”, some ministers have made tremendous stride as they have hit the ground running and haven’t let up. Others have put in every effort but have been hampered by several institutional and capacity challenges,’ he said.
According to him, as it is a little over one year since the Government took over power, he did an assessment of the performance of ministries taking into consideration both their performances in terms of their institutional mandate as well as the perception of the public on the delivery and impact of services.
‘The Minister of Finance Jacob Jusu Saffa and Agriculture Minister Mr. Joseph Ndanema came out on top. This is most obviously due to the professionalism with which they have handled numerous tasks and the immediate results of their untiring efforts. Other Ministers, such as the Minister of Information Communications, Minister of Lands and Water Resources also attained higher ratings than their colleagues whilst they were constrained by capacity and institutional challenges.
He said the Chief Minister has not been considered in the assessment; as he is the personality who has to ensure that all Ministries perform at their best; and therefore, the assessment score would logically be the average of all ministries’ scores.
This, however, would give a distorted representation of the tremendous efforts put in by the Office of the Chief Minister to ensure the achievement of the vision and goals of the SLPP’s “New Direction” for Sierra Leone. The task of the Chief Minister, therefore, is to ensure that performing ministries maintain their high ratings and that those with lower rating improve their scores for the betterment of every Sierra Leonean, he maintained.
Minister of Finance, Jacob Jusu Saffa scored 80% for the establishment of a Single Treasury Account, minimizing leakages in the financial system; for being on track in restoring fiscal discipline; facilitating the payment of workers without using bank overdrafts; facilitating the payment of over $1.2 billion domestic debt; increasing public workers’ salaries by15%; integrated workers of Tertiary Educational Institutions into the Centralized Computerized Government Payroll System; IMF Rating Sierra Leone Economic Performance under the New Direction Highly; Scaling Up Project Financing Arrangements with the World Bank; signing Budget support Grants with World Bank; improving Expenditure Management and Control; Fiscal Risk Management and Fiduciary Oversight; improve Public Debt Management and Improving the Budget Preparation, Execution and Payment System and improving the implementation and coordination of donor-funded projects.
Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs – Mrs. Memunatu B. Pratt scored 55% for raising the prominence of the tourism sector; innovatively reaching out to new stakeholders; initiating tourism and agricultural trade fairs; raising awareness of the country’s tourism sector; rebranding the country; and sourcing funds for the promotion of the music and film industry.
Minister of Agriculture – Mr. Joseph Ndanema scored 80% for ensuring the re-establishment of agricultural systems; revamping sustainable agricultural programmes; rice self- sufficiency; increased livelihoods of households; diversification of the economy in the four key value-chain among several indicators.
Minister of Health and Sanitation–Dr. Alpha Wurie scored 55% for review of Public Health Ordinance of 1960; reviving the ambulance services nationwide; improving on the drug cold-chain through the supply of refrigerators to PHUs among other developments.
Minister of Justice and Attorney- General-Dr. Priscilla Schwartz scored 60% for actualizing the Commission of Enquiry; putting in place plans to establish the ACC Court; recruitment of magistrates and judges in all districts; fast-tracking court cases; approved repeal of the 54-year-old criminal & seditious libel law and several other initiatives.
Minister of Primary and Secondary Education-Mr. Alpha Timbo scored 60% for launching the Free Education Programme; overseeing the supply of 26 million textbooks and other school materials to school pupils; approving over 100 schools countrywide and absorbing a large number of teachers into the payroll.
Minister of Water Resources–Dr. Jonathan Tengbeh scored 70% for Orugu and Congo water supply project feasibility study in progress and will be completed in December 2019; 45 industrial boreholes project commissioned for Kono, Moyamba, Segbwema and Daru commissioned; 200 boreholes projects across the country is 80 percent complete among many other developments.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation-Ms. Nabila Tunis scored 60% for Building relationships with new countries and strengthening existing diplomatic ties; the diplomatic community emphasizing the importance of open dialogue and reciprocal partnership; promoting UK-SL trade & highlighting the wealth of investment opportunities in Sierra Leone among other initiatives.
Minister of Information and Communications-Mr. Mohamed Swarray scored 60% for working towards improving the information policy; improving the national fibre optic capability; regulating all mobile operators; convening weekly ministerial briefing for the public; establishment of the strategy unit; provision of reliable and timely public information; consolidation of the national fibre optic backbone infrastructure; already engaged the Exim Bank of China for a Concessionary Loan of USD 30m to complete the National Fibre Backbone Infrastructure among other developments.
Minister of Planning and Economic Development-Dr Francis Kaikai scored 55%.
Minister of Energy and Power-Alhaji Kanja Ibrahim Sesay scored 55%.
Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs-Ms. Baindu Dansama scored 50%.
Minister of Sports– Mr. Ibrahim Nyelenkeh scored 50%.
Minister of Internal Affairs–Mr Edward Soloku scored 55%.
Minister of Labour– Mr. Adekunle King scored 60% for repatriation of job seekers from foreign countries; National Labour Migration Policy; putting in place systems to enforce labour regulations, nationwide visit to all mining workers for better working conditions among other initiatives.
Minister of Works, Housing and Infrastructural Development- Mr. Peter Bayuku Conteh scored 50%.
Minister of Marine Resources and Fisheries-Mrs Emma Kowa scored 50%.
Minister of Political and Public Affairs-Ambassador Foday Yumkella scored 40%.
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development— Mr. Tamba Lamina scored 45%.
Ministry of Tertiary and Higher Education-Mr. Aiah Kpakima scored 45%.
Minister of Lands and Country Planning- Dr Dennis M. Sandy scored 65% for working on the recovery of government lands; working on correcting lands documentation; National Resettlement Policy Developed ready for cabinet approval; Njala land dispute resolved; ministry’s contribution to national revenue increased revenue – 4.4 Billion Leones among other initiatives.
Minister of Trade and Industry–Dr. Eaward Hinga Sandy scored 50%.
Ministry of Youth and Employment-Mr. Mohamed O. Bangura scored 45%.
Minister of Minerals Resources- Mr. Rado Yokie scored 60% for review of Mining Act; strong intention to help Government in revenue collection; review of all mining companies’ licenses and contracts; new feasibility studies ongoing among other initiatives.