Sierra Leone Telegraph: 16 December 2018:
Last Thursday, 13 December 2018, president Julius Maada Bio held discussions with 200 heads of Sierra Leone’s state enterprises at State House, and called for their support in the implementation of government programmes in the interest of the country.
The President told them that the country has suffered for far too long and that his New Direction government is determined to change the narrative.
He said the country’s development process needs a collective effort, and that the public sector is crucial in moving the country forward.
He noted that his administration’s strategic programmes need the support of every Sierra Leonean.
The government’s flagship free quality education he said, is in line with his vision for the development of the country’s human capital, which he referred to as the bedrock of sustainable development.
“We rely on you to get things to work. Our flagship education project depends on your technical support and expertise and the will to wanting to see change and to transform the country, not only physically but also mentally. You are all important. That is why I have called you all to remind you about our flagship project and to tell you that we must all make sure it works,” he urged the meeting of over 200 sector leaders with decision making responsibilities.
President Bio also reiterated his government’s continued commitment to fighting corruption and to ensuring that it is curbed in all government institutions.
He described corruption as the greatest threat to the progress of the nation. He said a lot of things have gone wrong in the country, but assured that he is ready to correct them, starting with corruption.
He noted that the fight against corruption is neither meant to embarrass anyone nor is it intended to be seen as a witch-hunt.
He said the anti-corruption effort is a way of putting impunity to an end, and added that the recent Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) report is a testament of how far his government has come in the fight against corruption in just eight months in office.
This year, Sierra Leone passed the ‘Control of Corruption’ Indicator in the MCC Scorecard, scoring 71 percent, moving 22 points upwards from 49 percent last year.
“We have done a lot within this short time to end graft and that has paid off a lot in cleansing our international reputation. The language and reception used to describe our country are already changing and we must all be excited about that. I want to let all of us in governance now realise that one day we will give account of our stewardship, so we must rule with integrity and patriotism.
“Our country was known to be notorious for corruption. We can change that and we have started changing it already. But I need all of us to work together, so that we can stay on top. We want to let everyone know that endemic corruption is a threat to our national security and we will not accept it. We will not spare anyone, and we will make corruption less fashionable,” he assured.
He told the public enterprise leaders and commissioners that in order to move the development process forward, heads of institutions must be able to lead by example.
He said collective neglect was the reason for the present state of the country, and that it is time to collectively move the country forward, with service delivery as a priority.
The meeting is the second engagement between the president and heads of public institutions.
Immediately after taking his Oath of Office in April 2018, the president had a similar engagement with institutional heads at the Radisson Blu Hotel, where he assured them of his support and challenged them to act with the interest of the nation uppermost.