Sierra Leone Telegraph: 16 July 2023:
President Bio yesterday announced what has been described by many as “his reckless – money no object, budget bursting ministerial line up” for his final term of office, despite calls for his government to reduce public spending and cut waste in line with the tight fiscal policy measures recently recommended by the IMF.
This brings the total number of ministers and other appointees announced in the last few days by President Bio to over 80, compared with his relatively smaller cabinet appointed in 2018.
Those re-appointed or appointed to the cabinet yesterday are:
- Austin H. Demby- Minister of Health
- Amara Kallon- Minister of Public Administration and Political Affairs
- Jiwoh Abdulai- Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Minister of Youth Affairs
- Mohamed Orman Bangura – Minister of Youth Affairs
- Mohamed R. Swaray – Minister of Employment, Labour and Social Security Minister of Internal Affairs
- Major-General (Rtd.) David T.O. Taluva – Minister of Internal Affairs
- Henry M. Kpaka – Minister of Agriculture and Food Security
- Chernor Bah – Minister of Information and Civic Education
- Alhaji Kanja Sesay – Minister of Energy
- Alhaji Fanday Turay – Minister of Transport and Aviation
- Tamba Lamina – Minister of Local Government and Community Affairs
- Sao-Kpato Hannah Max- Kyne – Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation
- Princess Dugba – Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources
- Nabeela F. TunisMinister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs
- Turad Senesie – Minister of Lands, Housing and Country Planning Minister of Planning
- Kenyeh Ballay – Minister of Planning and Economic Development
- Melrose Karminty – Minister of Social Welfare
- Isata Mahoi – Minister of Gender and Children’s Affairs
- Denis Sandy- Minister of Works and Public Assets
- Augusta James Teima – Minister of Sports
- Haja Salimatu Bah – Minister of Communication, Technology and Innovation
- Adekunle King – Minister of the Western region
- Abu Abu Abdulai Koroma- Resident Minister, North
- Mohamed E.K. Alie – Resident Minister, South
- Umaru B. Wurie- Resident Minister, North-West
- Gbessay Jusu Ngobeh – Resident Minister, East
- Col (Rtd.) Muana Brima Massaquoi – Deputy Minister of Defence
- Alpha Sesay – Deputy Minister of Justice
- Charles Senesie – Deputy Minister of Health 1
- Jalikatu Mustapha – Deputy Minister of Health 2
- Philip Tetema Tondoneh – Deputy Minister of Public Administration and Political Affairs
- Patrick M. Gibrilla – Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs
- Mohamed Lansana Dumbuya – Deputy Minister of Employment, Labour and Social Security
- Theresa T. Dick – Deputy Minister (1) of Agriculture and Food Security
- Sahr Hemore – Deputy Minister (2) of Agriculture and Food Security
- Eldred Tunde Taylor – Deputy Minister of Energy
- Yusuf Keketoma Sandi – Deputy Minister of Information and Civic Education
- Rex Bhonapha – Deputy Minister of Transport and Aviation
- Alfred Jamiru – Deputy Minister of Local Government and Community Affairs
- Francis A. Kallon – Deputy Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation
- Haja isata Abdulai Kamara – Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources
- Kadiatu G.A. Kamara – Deputy Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs
- Phylis Kapu – Deputy Minister of Lands, Housing and Country Planning
- Dr. Jonathan Titus Williams – Deputy Minister of Planning and Economic Development
- Hindowa Buakai Bindi – Deputy Minister of Gender and Children’s Affairs
- Queen Fofana – Deputy Minister of Works and Public Assets
- Ibrahim Sannoh – Deputy Minister of Communication, Technology and Innovatio
- Alhaji Dr. Alpha Bakarr Sahid Kanu – Presidential Spokesman
- Solomon Jamiru – Press Secretary
- Kandeh Yumkella – Chairman, Presidential Initiative for Climate Change, Renewable Energy and Food Security
- Michael Imran Kanu – Ambassador and Permanent Representative for Sierra Leone to the United Nations
- Amara Sowa – Deputy Permanent Representative for Sierra Leone to the United Nations
- Brigadier-General (Rtd.) Kellie Conteh – National Security Adviser
- Ernest Ndomahina – Commissioner, National Commission for Social Action
- Lamina P. Vamboi – State Chief of Protocol
- Abdul Kpakra – Executive Officer 1, Office of the President
- Karmoh K. Conteh – Executive officer 2, Office of the President
The first group of ministers named early this week are:
- Mohamed Lamin Tarawally – Attorney General & Justice Minister
- Sheku Ahmed Fatmanti Bangura – Minister of Finance
- Timothy Musa Kabba – Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
- Ramatulai Wurie (Haja) – Minister of Technical and Higher Education
- Conrad Sackey Ibrahim – Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education
- Ibrahim Alpha Sesay – Minster of Trade & Industry
- Julius Mattai – Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources
- Manty Tarawalie – Minister of State, Office of Vice President
- Mrs Jeneba Bangura – Deputy Minister 1, Ministry of Finance
- Mr Bockarie Kalokoh – Deputy Minister 2, Ministry of Finance
- Mrs Francess Peagie Alghali – Deputy Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
- Mr Sarjoh Aziz Kamara – Deputy Minister, Ministry of Technical and Higher Education
- Mrs Emily K. Gogra – Deputy Minister 1, Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education
- Mrs Mamusu Massaquoi – Deputy Minister 2, Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education
- Mrs Fatamata Wurie – Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry
- Mr Umaru Napoleon Koroma – Deputy Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources
- Mr Mathew Dingie – Financial Secretary
- Mr Yankuba Askia Bio – General-Manager, Sierra Leone Ports Authority
- Mrs Judith Kosseh – Deputy Director-General, Sierra Leone Ports Authority
- Brima Swarray – Commissioner-general, National Revenue Authority
- Mrs Ann-Marie Harding – Deputy Commissioner-general 1, National Revenue Authority
- Gerald Ganda – Deputy Commissioner-general 2, National Revenue Authority
- Amara Brewah – Director-general, National Communications Authority
- Mariama Koroma – Deputy Commissioner-general, National Communications Authority.
President Julius Maada Bio’s announcement has been described as one of the youngest and most inclusive cabinets the country has seen.
Nine of the ministers appointed yesterday are under 40, and 33% of all appointees are women.
Writing on Twitter, President Bio said: “I welcome every appointee and urge them to see their appointments as a national call to service. The task ahead deserves every sense of duty and responsibility. With dedication and our collective efforts, my new Administration will strive to build a safe, secure and prosperous future for Sierra Leone.”
What is of note however, is that many of his long-trusted ministers have been sacked, including former foreign minister – Professor David Francis; former deputy internal affairs minister – Lahai Lawrence Leema who many have accused of killing several opposition protesters; and former Chief Minister – JJ Saffa.
Dr Kandeh Yumkella (Photo above with president Bio) – who many expected to play a key role in the new Bio-led government has been rewarded for his loyalty to president Bio, with the position of chairman of a new committee set up by the President to look at food security, energy and climate change issues.
But some of Bio’s old guards have retained their ministerial portfolio, including Dr Austin Dembi who stays at Ministry of Health, with responsibility for sanitation removed from his portfolio.
Kanja Sesay stays on as Minister of Energy. Dr Turad Senesie continues as Minister of Lands and Country Planning.
Tamba Lamina stays on at the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, while Mohamed Orman Bangura remains at the Ministry of Youths.
Former Minister of Information and Communication, Mohamed Rahman Swaray has been sent to head the Ministry of Employment, Labour and Social Security, replacing Alpha Timbo, who has been sacked from the government.
What comes as a surprise though, is the creation of two new ministries: Information and Civic Education Ministry; and the Ministry for Communication, Technology and Innovation.
Former Press Secretary at the Office of the President – Yusuf Keketoma Sandi is now Deputy Minister of Information and Civic Education.
Dr Memuna Pratt has been sacked as Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs after failing to improve the country’s tourism industry. She has been replaced by Nabeela F. Tunis.
Adekunle King, a former Labour Minister has replaced Nabeela Tunis as Minister of Western Area with strategic responsibility for the development of Freetown.
The controversial former Minister of Lands – Dr Denis Sandy who was sacked by President Bio two years ago, has made a comeback to the government lineup. He is now the new Minister of Works and Public Assets.
With Sierra Leone’s economy teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, and the IMF and World Bank holding back their financial support after the country’s main opposition APC party declared it will not work with the Bio-led SLPP government until all polling station results of presidential and general elections held last month have been published, and the current political crisis resolved, serious concerns are being raised about the cost and affordability of President Bio’s over-bloated cabinet.