Increase Text Size Decrease Text Size Default Text Size
 
OOPS. Your Flash player is missing or outdated.Click here to update your player so you can see this content.
Featured Links:
Banner
ExpoNet
EXpoNet Services!
Banner
Subscribe Now
Subscribe Now.
THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS PROJECT: A LEGITIMATE SINE QUA NON IN SIERRA LEONE’S PROGRESS PDF  | Print |  E-mail
News
Written by Sheka Tarawalie (Shekito)   
Monday, 29 May 2017 14:59
PREAMBLE
“An estimated Le81 billion was paid to traffic officials in bribes to settle traffic offences in the last twelve months. This means that government is losing Le700 billion of domestic revenue from unpaid fines as the monies do not go through official revenue channels…” This formed part of a much-publicised 2016 report titled CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES OF GOVERNANCE (VOL 6), sub-titled ‘Corruption Stops With Us: Ending Bribery For Traffic Offences In Sierra Leone’ by  a coalition of civil society and media activists, the Citizens Agenda for Prosperity (CAP).
This, plus many previous and subsequent of such reports, informed His Excellency the President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma to initiate a traffic lights project which would not only reduce or eliminate traffic police officers from the streets but also provide mechanisms through which monies paid as penalties will directly be deposited into government coffers. But not only that, this project portrays us as nation ready to catch up with the rest of the world in civilization, this projects prevents accidents, saves lives, gives us a sense of orderliness, and also saves fuel consumption for motorists. Suffice it to say that probably certain recent accidents which have seen us losing valuable lives could not have occurred if traffic lights had been installed extensively.
In his determined bid to ensure that the project succeeds, President Koroma specifically assigned me to see that it comes to fruition.
PREVIOUS ROLES AS PRESIDENTIAL LIAISON FOR BUMBUNA HYDRO-POWER PHASE TWO AND NEWTON SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE PROJECTS
It is worthy to note that the President has entrusted such special responsibilities to me before. I was presidential liaison for both the Bumbuna Phase II Project from inception to the signing of an agreement between Government and Joule Africa, and also for the Newton Special Economic Zone (for the location of a fruit juice factory and now with an addition of a coffee-processing plant) from inception to the signing of an agreement between Government and First Step -government officials and executives of these two companies can testify to that. My primary purpose is always to help the companies navigate through the murky waters of bureaucracy, to push sometimes reluctant and complacent government officials, and ensure the best possible outcomes for both investors and government.
PRESIDENTIAL LIAISON FOR THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS PRROJECT
It is a similar role that is entailed in being presidential liaison for the traffic lights project. It has been more daunting because it did not initially have a clear line MDA, as it has multi-sectoral components which included the Sierra Leone Police, the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority, the Sierra Leone Roads Authority etc. The project was therefore initially being coordinated by the Office of the President, first through the Office of the Chief of Staff and subsequently by the Strategy & Policy Unit headed by Prof. Strasser King – as determined by the President.
TRAFFIC LIGHTS PROJECT NOW ANCHORED AT THE MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT & AVIATION
After several consultative and technical meetings which included all the mentioned stakeholders plus the Ministry of Finance, a decision was taken at the highest level for the project to be anchored at the Ministry of Transport & Aviation in October 2016.
Since then, the Ministry of Transport has shouldered the responsibility of getting the project implemented. They, in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, formed a sub-committee to the effect, and eventually got the concurrence of the National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA) for the project’s implementation – in full collaboration with the Law Officers Department.
Therefore, journalists or members of the public wishing to know about details of the project can contact the Permanent Secretary in that ministry. They have all the information regarding the legitimate procurement processes that led to the installation of pilot-phase traffic lights by Elektromodul Promet, a Croatia-based company, and how they would subsequently expand on installations.
It would interest you to note that Ghana invested one hundred and thirty-five million dollars ($135 m) in a traffic lights project just for the capital city, Accra (http://www.roadtraffic-technology.com/news/newsghana-install-intelligent-traffic-management-system).
CONCLUSION
I wish to state that in my ten years of public service, I have never been associated with corruption; but rather I’ve fought corruption at great personal and official risk. I have been Press Secretary to the President, Deputy Minister of Information & Communications, and Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs; and I’ve served this nation with great diligence and meekness. I galvanised a once-shambolic State House press unit and turned it into an enviable entity; I played my own little role in pushing for the landing of the fibre optic cable in this country; and I helped give meaning and glamour to a once-moribund Internal Affairs Ministry, not least getting a more respectable office.
I have always seen myself as a journalist on loan to politics; and I want to believe that I have not disappointed my constituency, which is the journalism profession.
Anyone wishing to pursue a campaign of calumny against me can go ahead. However, my own battle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers of darkness - God being my Helper.
I’ll continue to serve my country and my President with a clear conscience.
Thank you
Sheka Tarawalie (Shekito)
PRESIDENTIAL LIAISON FOR THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS PROJECT

 

 

Editorial

26th IPRA Conference in Sierra Leone Ends on a High Note

The International Peace Research Association (IPRA) successfully held its 26th General Conference on ‘Agenda for Peace and Development: Conflict Prevention, Post-Conflict Transformation, and the Conflict, Disaster Risk and Sustainable Development Debate’ in collaboration with the 10TH Dealing With Disasters Series, Northumbria University (UK)and Sakarya University (Turkey) and  the University of  Sierra Leone at the Bintumani Conference Centre in Freetown, Sierra Leone from November 27 to 1st December 2016.

Read more...

Business News

Managing Director of Rokel Commercial Bank, speaks to The Worldfolio about the investment opportunities in Sierra Leone

John D. Okrafo-Smart, Managing Director of Rokel Commercial Bank, speaks to The Worldfolio about the investment opportunities in Sierra Leone and gives his insight into the banking landscape.

Excerpts shared by Sheriff Mahmud Ismail

The Government of Sierra Leone is placing great priority in improving the business climate, enhancing infrastructure and support to private sector development. In line with the government focus, the Central Bank is targeting price stability in support of economic recovery, enhancing monetary policy instruments and liquidity management and also limiting intervention in the foreign exchange market, which will be important to preserve foreign exchange reserves.

The above measures will help in the strengthening of the banking system to support financial intermediation. Commercial banks are thus poised to benefit and take advantage of the improved economic and business environment by offering better services to their customers, including loans and overdrafts and forex to import, thereby creating wealth and boosting government revenue.

Read more...

Media News

Freedom of Expression Violations Rise Sharply in West Africa

The incidents of freedom of expression rights violations in West Africa more than tripled in the first quarter (January-March) of 2017.

Over the three-month period, a total of 47 violations were recorded as against 14 violations for the last quarter (October-December) of 2016. The violations recorded in the quarter under review range from arrests and detentions to physical attacks, online violations, shutdown of media houses, censorship, seizure and destruction of property and killings. The 47 violations occurred in 10 out of the 16 countries in West Africa.

 

Read more...

Commentary

Dr. Tam Baryoh’s Only Crime!

Boris Johnson as a Journalist worked at The Times and Daily Telegraph newspapers. He edited The Spectator newspaper between 1999 and 2006. He was Member of Parliament for Henley from 2001 to 2008 and was also Mayor of London. He is a member of the Conservative Party and the current UK Foreign Secretary.

Nnamdi Azikiwe was to serve as the first president of independent Nigeria from 1963 to 1966. He opened and edited a number of newspapers in Ghana and Nigeria and later became an active politician. Obafemi Awolowo was a great Nigerian politician. He also was an active journalist and edited The Nigerian Worker, amongst other publications.

There is a clear link between politics and journalism though, there seems to be a very thin boundary, or perhaps, “a reflective door in the firewall, such that with time, politicians and journalists cross the line changing roles and moving from side to side,” argues Aminat Afolabi in a piece, titled ‘Politics and Journalism, the Interwoven Relationship between Them.”

Read more...

View Point

The APC Convention: A political façade, if not a joke!

Thanks to AYV partnered by AFCOM, I was able to followthe live coverage of the APC and SLPP conventions on my mobile phone from my base in the UK.It was good that both conventions took place simultaneously last week end (October 15-16, 2017) because, at the very least, it provided the opportunity to those keenly following the two historic events to compare and contrast them, not least in terms of democratic processes and procedures. Let me start by talking about how I saw the APC convention held in Makeni, then compare,and contrast it with what I saw at the SLPP convention held in Freetown.

Read more...

News - Press Release

EU Election Exploratory Mission meets Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

(MFAIC Press Office, 18th October, 2017). The European Union Election Exploratory Mission to Sierra Leone led by Head of European Union Delegation to Sierra Leone, H.E. Tom Vens has paid a working visit to the Minister, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara and Senior Management Staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, at the Ministry’s office in Tower Hill, Freetown.

Ambassador Tom Vens stated that the EU Election Exploratory Mission is in Sierra Leone following an invitation by the Government of Sierra Leone for EU Electoral assistance, and to further discuss the role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in facilitating EU Observer Mission for the March 2018 elections in the country. The EU Election Exploratory Missionas part of its mandate is in the country to draft and finalise the MOU with the Government of Sierra Leone through the Foreign Ministry.

Read more...

Society -Local News

Abdul Nahim-Koroma's Life Is In Danger

Members of the Sierra Leone Drug Addiction Council are seriously concern about the life of Abdul Nahim-Koroma who disappeared March this year and his where about is still unknown.

According to sources, Mr. Nahim-Koroma’s problem started since 2011 when he put up resistance and went further to stop his family not to initiate his two daughters Rabiatu and Aliyah Nahim-Koroma into the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) locally called bondo society in Sierra Leone.

A family member told this medium that since 2011 to date Abdul Nahim-Koroma’s life as well as his family members are in constant threats.

Read more...

Development

U.S. Ambassador launches National Early Warning Systems Project, funded by USAID

On Wednesday, October 18, U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Maria E. Brewer, announced the official launch of the USAID West Africa-funded “Mitigating Election Violence through National Early Warning Systems” (NEWS) project and the inauguration of the National Elections Response Group in Sierra Leone.

Supported by $500,000 from USAID, NEWS is implemented by the West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) in Sierra Leone. The focus is to monitor and identify potential electoral violence triggers and assist government and non-government organizations in Sierra Leone to better mitigate them.
The National Elections Response Group (NERG) is a partnership under the NEWS project, between WANEP, the Inter-Religious Council, the Campaign for Good Governance, government stakeholders, representatives from the National Electoral Commission, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Office of National Security (ONS) and a number of civil society organizations.

The primary objective of the National Elections Response Group (NERG) is to monitor the elections environment, develop, and recommend strategies and actions to relevant stakeholders with authority to implement necessary response actions to prevent escalation of tensions or incidence of violence for a peaceful 2018 election. Members of the NERG will work closely with WANEP, the Integrated Election Security Planning Committee under the ONS, Provincial and District Election Security Committees – PROSEC and DISEC with an extensive network of civil society organizations and with 60 community monitors across the country to identify potential risks of electoral violence.

Read more...

Politics

PRESIDENT KOROMA SAYS… “I am very proud of Ansumana Usman Koroma”

President Dr Ernest BaiKoroma has informed Sierra Leoneans that, “I am very proud that we have people like Ansumana. We need many more Ansumana Usman Koromas that will go out there as Ambassadors of our country, showing and telling a good story about Sierra Leone.”

Whilst speaking at his Presidential office in Freetown, President Koroma affirmed that, “I am very proud of Ansumana and I am encouraging him to do more by helping his people.”

Read more...
Copyright © 2017 expotimesonline. All rights reserved.