During the on-going budget hearing for the Fiscal Year 2021 budget in which Ministries, Departments and Agencies are participating and that is taking place at the Ministry of Finance, the Director of National Budget in that Ministry, Tasima Jah, assured the Ministry of Internal Affairs that his Ministry is committed to the construction of a new correctional center that will replace the Pa Demba Road Maximum Correctional Centre.
“This is a very laudable project and it is high time we start seeing some resources allocated to it for it to be achieved in the next couple of years,” he said.
He said since the idea of relocating the Pa Demba Road Correctional Centre was brought up by late President Ahmed Tejan Kabba some 20 years ago very little has been done to ensure that that it is implemented.
The Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Lahai Laurence Leema, said the prison break that took place during the reign of late President Ahmed Tejan Kabba necessitated the relocation of the prison to Songo outside the capital of Freetown.
He disclosed how that was already in the pipeline when he took over as a Deputy Minister and a Committee has been set up to work towards that and is chaired by the Vice President, Dr. Juldeh Jalloh.
“Once the work of the Committee is done, then we can move forward,” he further revealed.
The key deliverables for 2021 FY are the alignment of the Ministry’s Strategic Plan with the National Development Plan (2019-2023), operationalize the two Directorate structure of the Ministry as recommended by the Management and Functional Review (MFR) Report of 2007, conduct effective monitoring of Agencies and assessment of funding gap for donor support, roll out implementation of the National Action Plan on Statelessness, and develop a unified internet platform for the Security sector.
The total estimate for the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the 2021 FY budget estimate is- recurrent expenditure Le 14,379,700,000.00, budget ceiling – recurrent expenditure Le 1,281,700,000.00, and excess over ceiling Le 13,098,000,000.00.
(C) The Calabash Newspaper