Sierra Leone News: Minister to Revisit Mining Agreements

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Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Hon. Foday Rado Yokie

Minister of Mines, Hon. Foday Rado Yokie has pledged his commitment to revisit all mining agreements, and cancel those that are not in the interest of the people of this country, while also ensuring that Mineral Rights are given to credible investors. He called on the technical staff of the NMA to work with him in this direction and to ensure synergy between the Agency and the Ministry for the good of the country.

The Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Hon. Foday Rado Yokie encouraged staff of the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources (MMMR) and the National Minerals Agency (NMA) to work with him to ensure that Sierra Leoneans derive maximum benefits from our mineral resources.

Addressing a cross-section of MMMR and NMA staff during the formal handing over ceremony held at the Ministry’s conference room, 5th floor Youyi Building on 3rd July 2019, Hon. Foday Rado Yokie said the people of Sierra Leone have suffered for far too long not benefiting from the mineral wealth of this country and that he is here to change that narrative.

He pointed out that the minerals sector is critical to national development, and that staff must see themselves as working for the benefit of the country and the people, and not for the Minister. “We are all servants of the people, and we have a sacred responsibility to ensure that the people of this country realize benefits from our minerals”, he maintained.

He called on the technical staff of the NMA to work with him in this direction and to ensure synergy between the Agency and the Ministry for the good of the country.

Hon. Foday Rado Yokie expressed appreciation to his predecessor, Dr. Morie Manyeh, for his good work, and the very solid foundation he has left behind. He assured staff that he is ready to work with everybody, regardless of colour, race, tribe or party and solicited cooperation from all to enhance smooth working relationship. He called on staff to work with sincerity and put the interest of our Country first.

Earlier, in his handing over statement, the outgoing Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Dr. Morie Manyeh, congratulated Hon. Foday Rado Yokie on his appointment and said that the Ministry has a very thin Management staff but he was blessed with professionals from the NMA, whom he called on to give their utmost support to the New Minister.

Dr. Morie Manyeh pointed out some of the key achievements of his tenure such as the rolling out of three (3) new policies: The Sierra Leone Minerals Policy; The Artisanal Mining Policy; and the Goe-Data Management Policy, which he noted provide solid foundation for the development of the minerals sector. He also highlighted noted projects, such as the Airborne Geophysical Survey and the Koryardu Project, which he said requires close supervision for successful completion. He wished the new Minister success as he continues with the challenging task of ensuring that Sierra Leoneans derive maximum benefit from our mineral wealth.

In his statement, the Director General, NMA, Mr. Julius Mattai, thanked Dr. Morie Manyeh and wished him well in his new appointment as Sierra Leone’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. He acknowledged to have learnt a lot from him during his stay as Minister.

In another engagement, the Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Foday Rado Yokie visited the NMA Headquarters Office at New England Ville in Freetown on the 2nd of July 2019. He commended the NMA for it professionalism and that he was blessed to have inherited this team. He called on staff members to work assiduously towards the set goals.

The Minister further said that the Government is excited with the Airborne project, as over the past years we have been negotiating agreement with investors from a position of weakness, all that will change as with the result from the survey, we will negotiate from a position of strength.

In his statement the Director General, NMA Mr. Julius Mattai welcomed the Minister and Team from the Ministry and pointed out that the NMA has positioned itself to ensure that the country takes advantage of the numerous opportunities from minerals endowment, while working with stakeholders to address the challenges from mineral exploitation.

The Chairman, Board of Directors, NMA Ing. Hadji Dabo, congratulated the Minister on his appointment and welcomed the Minister to the Agency. He pledged the Agency’s full support to ensure that the people of this country benefit from the Mineral wealth.

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