Sierra Leone Telegraph: 2 August 2021:
Last Tuesday President Bio’s Chief Minister – Jacob Jusu Saffa, said he is committed to supporting government ministries to deliver their respective sector plans and annual work programs, so as to fulfil President Bio’s New Direction Agenda, by coordinating efforts, facilitating processes and following-up on the mandates of each of the ministries.
He was speaking at his tour of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development (MoPED), explaining his role as Chief Minister (CM) and familiarizing himself with the work of the ministry.
Welcoming the CM, the Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Francis Kai-Kai, expressed his delight at receiving the CM and his team, noting that his presence signified his ‘home coming’ to the Ministry, since the Chief Minister started his career at the Planning Ministry, before its merger with the Ministry of Finance by the previous government.
The Chief Minister said his role is not to be a supervisor, but to be seen as supportive to all ministries by coordinating government efforts, facilitating government processes and following-up on the mandates of the ministries, presidential decisions and pronouncements and to also monitor progress.
He said the New Direction government is committed to establishing a delivery culture in government that would improve service delivery in the country.
“I strongly believe that if this country had institutionalized a delivery culture, Sierra Leone would not have been where it is today. This New Direction Government is firmly committed to instituting a delivery culture that would enhance the facilitation of development processes within government”, said JJ Saffa.
The Chief Minister said his office is going to focus on every ministry’s annual work program, which will be uploaded on a delivery tracking tool to enable the President’s office to see development interventions implemented in all parts of the country.
He said, as the ‘Delivery Police’, he is committed to effectively collaborate with ministries at all levels on governance issues, with the aim of achieving President Julius Maada Bio’s New Direction Agenda.
Jacob Saffa has to be emphatically told that the nation does not survive on empty rhetoric, it’s the road that we are already on. As Finance minister his most notable achievement was to propose in his budget speech that Bio should be given a blank cheque each time he travelled to spend as he wished. For a man who is supposed to know something about Economics his tenure as minister of finance should force us to wonder whether he knows the basic definition of Economics. He probably was chased out of the World Bank for poor performance.
Service delivery is his theme this time. What does he mean? These are the type of broad statements made by low level operators in Politics designed to dull the senses of the masses for them to continue keeping them in office, even as they starve to death while living in squalor. Without tribal and regional factors, Jacob Saffa would have no business being in the centre of running anything, let alone a country. No wonder we’re heading nowhere.
The so-called PhD holder in Economics was a resource drainer as minister of finance. Now as chief minister he is well placed to manage the drainage into his and his boss’s pockets, as well as those on the peripheries, like the former chief minister, David Francis, who is still licking his wounds caused by his demotion to the Foreign Ministry. There is hardly any “mass mass “ there.
Fascinating stuff. The Chief Minister on a credibility tour. Sitting besides someone who is disciplined and has credibility all over the world, will give investors a sigh of relief. But that will not immediately convince them to come. Appointing ministers is President Bio’s prerogative. I get that. But, why can’t he appoint Dr Francis Kai Kai as Finance Minister and the Former High Commissioner to the UK Mr Tamba Lamina as Foreign Minister? Put the right champions in the right place Mr President.
Some of the people in your team have failed us miserably and some of the failures are because you appointed people to very important posts because of friendship or because they were holding flags/banners all over the world praising you, and politically hammering/damaging former President Ernest Bai Koroma with negative and incorrect information. Don’t wait till 2023. It will no longer be possible if we win in 2023, although we will ask the good guys to stay. God help President Bio put the right men in the right place so that he no longer needs a “Delivery Police”. Yeah.
Self praise is no recommendation. Bragging about your achievements, shows your achievements have failed, or be it your quest to achieve a stated goal has failed. You should leave it to us, Joe average to count the costs of your mistakes, the way you have performed since we the ordinary citizens of Sierra Leone, cast our ballots, after convincing us that you will make a difference to our lives. Yes you have made a difference, but to your lives, your friends lives, not the poor people of our country. Your performance or lack of it, have fallen far short of the one direction mantra we were promised back to the run up to the presidential election of 2018.What a hubris. Otherwise you don’t need a loudhailer to remind your targeted audience, in this case government ministries, and by extention a sceptical Sierra Leonean public in deep slumber waking up, and asking what’s the noise is all about? Visiting government ministries reminds us all of your campaign stop overs you used to make in our cities, towns and villages, that if you are elected you will tackle corruption and work to improve our living standards .
Even the dogs that are now barking trying to warn their owners about the dangers of Chief Minister Jusu Saffa’s, singing and praising the achievements of this one directionless government of his boss, is not working.Everyone is just sick to their teeth, nothing seems to change for the better in our country. To paraphrase his words”I believe if Sierra Leone have institutionalized a dilivery culture, Sierra-leone will be in a better place”. Four years in the making, and finally an admissions of failure from the man who has the ears of the president. Take a moment or two and think about those words, coming from a former Finance Minister, that was controlling the purse strings of the country, or be it looking after the family jewellery, making such a gibberish statement. In certain ways, reading through the lines, the Hon. Chief Minister Jusu Saffa, is tactically admittion of failure, doesn’t come as a surprise to us.
The only surprises here, it took him that long to admit their lack of preparation of how to run the affairs of state. I think Bio should think again in keeping you in your position as his new propaganda chief Minister, that is meant to sell us the good news about his government achievements, what achievement? Hon Saffa took our economy to the dry cleaners and short changed us, and now as the Bio’s side stick is at it again. Only this time the scales in Sierra Leoneans eyes have fallen, and thank goodness we can see through the big lies about the achievements or thr lack of it as clear as day light. You can’t keep us in the the dark any longer. We just have to go down memory lane and see what your socalled one direction government is all about.A complete and utter failure.