The former boss of National Commission for Demobilization, Disarmament and Reintegration (NCDDR), who now doubles as the newly-approved Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Francis Kaikai, has subscribed to the Oath of Office before President Julius Maada Bio in accordance with Section 57 of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.
President Bio congratulated the new minister on his appointment and alerted him that although he was part of the government, he was coming in a different capacity with a stiff task ahead. He said that although the task ahead was a tall order, Dr Kaikai was meticulously chosen because of his experience and what he would bring to the new office.
“It is an uphill task to move Sierra Leone from where it is today to where we want it to be, but we have no doubt in your ability and sense of commitment to duty. So you are welcome to an extremely difficult ministry and I expect you to do all you can and you can always count on me to support you,” he said.
The Minister, on behalf of his family, thanked President Bio for the confidence reposed in him. He recalled that President Bio had given him a task to re-establish Sierra Leone’s relation at the global stage, which he said he had managed to accomplish as best as possible. He noted that he was pleased to come back home to serve in the new capacity and assured of his readiness to support the government.
“From my experience I know planning for the country, making sure that the plans are owned by the people and making sure that economic development is people-centred can be a bit challenging and required a whole change of mind-set. I want to assure you that I will do my utmost best to support your vision. Coming as a standalone ministry, brings lots of challenges but I am committed to the new task,” he ended.
Until his recent appointment, Dr. Kaikai was Sierra Leone’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Mission in New York, United States. It could also be recalled that he served in different capacities during the country’s transition period from war to peace. Among many other assignments, he served as Director of the National Commission for Reconciliation, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction.