Sierra Leone Telegraph: 17 October 2021:
Since her controversial appointment as minister of western region by president Bio in May this year in a snap cabinet reshuffle, little has been seen of or heard about Mrs Nabeela Tunis who was sacked as foreign affairs minister to take over as minister for the western region.
Although Nabeela Tunis is serving as a cabinet minister rank and status, which puts her above other regional ministers serving the government, little is known about her role which many say is shrouded in secrecy, and how this differs from that of the Mayor of Freetown.
Facing questions from the media about her job description, Nabeela said she was appointed because of what she described as a leadership vacuum in the Western Region, and that the impact of government policy implementation and coordination of the work of ministries, departments and agencies in the capital are not visible.
But five months after her appointment, Nabeela Tunis has been conspicuously missing in action, until last Thursday 14th October when she appeared in Accra, Ghana where she visited the Regional Minister of Greater Accra Mr. Henry Quatey to learn about the Ghanaian experience and the role of regional minister of a capital city. (Photo: Regional Minister of Greater Accra Mr. Henry Quatey – standing centre, with Mrs Tunis on his left).
According to reports, minister Henry Quatey encouraged Nabeela Tunis to be determined, focused, and most importantly – to work and collaborate with the Mayor of Freetown “to ensure proper development coordination, making reference to the successes he has recorded as a result of his relationship with mayors in his region,” and offered to collaborate with minister Tunis to ensure stronger ties between both institutions.
Speaking after her meeting, Mrs Tunis (Photo above) noted that her meeting was a success, especially the agreement by both ministers to share experiences and knowledge on technical issues surrounding their work.
Nabeela is reported to have said that she will learn from the mistakes of her Ghanaian counterpart.
“One thing that is good in our own situation is that we have been given the liberty to build the ministry from scratch, so some of the challenges that they have been faced with will be dealt with from the word go”, she noted.
Tunis also pointed out that she and her team have started putting structures in place, including the setting up of liaison offices in the ministries, departments and agencies.
She said that that more focus will be placed on collaboration, monitoring and evaluation of the Bio-led government programs rather than implementation; and that she and her team will soon be formulating a Regional Development Plan that will be in line with the National Development Plan.
Madam Nabeela Tunis was proactive in the formulation of the government’s National Development Plan when she was Minister of Planning and Economic development before she was moved to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.