On the 29th May 2020, the Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rahman Swaray held a Press Conference on President Bio’s speech on the Third Opening of the Fifth Parliament of the Republic of Sierra Leone in Makeni.
The Minister started off by thanking Sierra Leoneans for consistently adhering to the COVID- 19 guidelines and admonished them of not giving up on the practice of those guidelines as the pandemic would soon be defeated. The Minister also assured all the journalists, civil society actors etc. of President Bio’s commitment in ending the devastating scourge in the country and still remains the main item agenda of the government.
In the Makeni City Council Hall, the Minister profoundly demonstrated the President’s supreme commitment in setting the country to an irreversible path to prosperity and development. He also maintained that the speech delivered by the President on the State Opening of Parliament on the the 28th May 2020, crystallized the immense achievements by the President in the past two years of his presidency. According to the Minister, the speech unveils the following points:
#- The construction of Technical Vocational Institutes in Falab, Kerene, Port Loko, Mattru Jong, Makeni, as an empowerment for the people especially the heavy youthful demographics.
#_ The Expulsion of the Seditious and Libel Laws from the constitution of Sierra Leone, this guarantees complete press freedom. Laws have been instituted to deal with reckless journalism, the spread of fake news and riding the horse of impunity.
#-Government’s support to the Ministeries of Youth Affairs, Defence, Local Councils and Correctional Services in establishing institutional farms throughout the country. This has reduced the importation of rice to a negligible point and guarantees food security.
#- Cabinet’s approval of $19.8 million for the National Diagnostic Center and Radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer and other related diseases with sophisticated modern equipment and facilities.
# -The implementation of the Fiber Project, leading to strong and massive internet connectivity, connecting schools, hospitals, councils etc.thereby digitalizing the country.
# -Introduction of Quick Action Economic Response Programme (QAERP) to cushion the economic effects of COVID-19, the availability of sufficient food, bolsters and prevents the collapse of businesses in the country.
# -Recruitment of 2, 500 health workers and the hiring of more 3000 Midwives ,Pharmacists,Epidemiologists,Clinical and Surgical Community Health Officers. This will boost the health sector and will massively improve the country’s health condition.
# -The review of all agreements and policies that will bring bumper economic harvest from the Natural Resources. The mining sector poised making massive recruitments.
# -Introduction of highly sophisticated contact tracing model reflecting international standards and accelerating huge extra commitment in ending the Corona Virus Pandemic.
Conclusively, the Minister maintained that President Bio would never walk away from his commitment and unshakable resolve in meeting the demands of Sierra Leoneans. He admitted the existence and emergence of challenges,but President Bio’s Administration has refused to be intimidated by those challenges as they are not insurmountable.
Strategic Communications Unit
Ministry of Information and Communications.