The Almighty Sierra Leone Telecommunication Company (SIERRATEL) and The Sierra Leone Postal Services Limited (SALPOST) used to be the pride of Sierra Leone in service delivery but have crumbled down the drain to their unexpected lowest standards that really need some interventions.
Sierratel was formed as a government entity to provide affordable telephone services to the nation. It has in no doubt been the only gate way for all sorts of communication in Sierra Leone – meaning all companies do pay for this gate way. In the past years, Sierratel was a business giant in Sierra Leone from the late 1980s to early 1990s making meaningful economic contribution to the government. The first action that started crippling it was the establishment of an open line to homes and commercial premises which led to massive corruption among workers. Those connected were misusing the international line, no proper accountability from senior workers and payment of staff salaries became problematic. So, the ill managed company gradually turned out to be the centre of staff strikes and corruption. This continued till the wake of mobile companies in Sierra Leone in the late 1990s to 2000. Covered by the gate way mobile lenders from Sierratel, the mobile companies toppled Sierratel and became more powerful to this moment. The imperative question one may ask is - what has really killed the Almighty Sierratel, is it the mobile companies’ revolution or lack of innovation?( the giver to become the great loser).
After allowing customers or subscribers to the mobile companies to be loyal and develop trust in them, it became difficult for Sierraratel to wake up from its long slumber and catch up with the 100 meters ahead mobile companies. To leap-frog now, build confidence in the millions of mobile subscribers in Sierra Leone has been a herculean task for the one time pride of Sierra Leone telecompany.
One may suggest among other things as a way forward that added to the cheapest rates, Sierratel which operates both land and mobile telephone services must design strategies like the sim and credits paid for but the mobile phone itself free. Also seasonal raffle draws and other sales promotions should be done.
The Sierra Leone Postal Services Company (SALPOST) on the other hand was formed to ensure effective and efficient delivery of mails, other parcels, information packages (normal and classified) both internal and external. It had a good structure and did well in the 70s and 80s but started declining in the wake of the new media technology known as Internet. This was because the internet provides website, email, facebook (social media) facilities that could easily replace the services SALPOST could provide.
With innovation however, SALPOST could have still survived and maintained its expected service delivery especially the hinterland document services in the country. There are certain documents that still need the services of SALPOST both local and International that go beyond international facilities. With facilities and well coordinated programs, SALPOST can still make its contribution to nation building. Why have DHL, Red Coat and others are still surviving and making inroads to the happiness of the public, staff and most important their owners/Managing Directors? All this is because of well coordinated programs and dedication. The idea is centred on sober arrangement with the Airlines for prompt delivery of international mails to their respective destinations. For local mails around the country, SALPOST should have small and good vehicles with dedicated staff who will not give flimsy excuses to deliver parcels on time. The above are just few examples of numerous services SALPOST should offer this nation.
Nevertheless, since SALPOST has lost direction of what to do to keep the Institution above the water, it is imperative that government inject and render it some innovations to salvage the deplorable and ridiculous condition of SALPOST.
The first move government can do towards this is to like the US A transfer the issuance of all passports to SALPOST whiles the Immigration concentrate on the real enforcement of immigrants and other duties. If passports issuance is done by SALPOST, that will wake up and make it fulfil all other functions. Added to the revenue SALPOST will generate for government, it will also become more viable and be a pillar of the Agenda for Prosperity. Immigration on the other hand will then be steadfast in checking for residential permits, expert rate fee, work permits and other documents around our bothers, in the cities and other big towns. The effectiveness and efficiency of this enforcement body (Immigration) can then be achieved and appreciated, hence a contribution to the Agenda for Prosperity. What out for more in the next edition in trying to salvage the situation of SALPOST.
2016 Global Peace Conference to be held in Freetown---as IPRA 50th Birthday confab ends in Istanbul
The 26th biennal conference of the Internatonal Peace Research Association (IPRA) is billed to take place in Freetown, Sierra Leone in November 2016, marking the second time Africa has hosted the conference since the founding of IPRA in 1964. This was announced following the re-election of the two IPRA Secretaries-general, Dr Ibrahim Seaga Shaw (pictured) and Dr Nesrin Kenar, who co-ordinated the 25th IPRA conference in Turkey, at the organisation’s administrative meeting on August 14 during the 25th IPRA conference in Istanbul to serve a second term of two years.
By using digital payments to pay Ebola response workers, Sierra Leone massively cut payment times, avoiding large-scale strikes and ensuring a stable workforce to defeat Ebola. Sierra Leone’s experience shows the critical importance of preparing early for digital payments before crises hit.
FREETOWN / NEW YORK, 18 May, 2016 – Mobile phones serving as digital “wallets” for payments to response workers proved an invaluable tool in Sierra Leone’s response to the Ebola crisis, according to a new study from the United Nations-based Better Than Cash Alliance.
With economic instability, natural disasters and political conflict now taking place at unprecedented rates, the new research offers valuable lessons on how to harness the power of technology to help emergency workers reach more people by paying them digitally during crises.The country has been Ebola free since January.
Freetown, May 20th 2016: The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists Electoral Commission (SLAJEC) wishes to inform the membership of SLAJ that it received a letter dated 17th May, 2016 from Ibrahim Brima Samura, the Campaign Manager of the "Stanley Bangura for SLAJ President 2016 Campaign Team," "petitioning the SLAJ Verification Process."
SLAJEC would like to inform the membership of SLAJ that it would treat the petition with the seriousness it deserves. Therefore, SLAJEC is in consultations with all relevant actors within the Association and the National Elections Commissions (NEC) with the object to settling the matter amicably.
To that end, SLAJEC has asked the executive of SLAJ to kindly extend the deadline for payment of dues to Tuesday, 24th May, 2016 to give the Commission additional time to look into the allegations raised, and to come up with a decision that would inform the compilation of the final voter register. In addition, the extension of the deadline would enable some members of SLAJ to meet their financial obligations to the Association, which is a fundamental perquisite for the exercise of their franchise on June 4.
A PASSIONATE LETTER TO HIS EXCELLENNCY THE PRESIDENT – 41ST EDITION SALARIES AND WAGES AS THEY BOTHER ON CORRUPTION
Your Excellency Sir,
I am delighted again to do you this piece at this strategic time of a crucial global summit on corruption at Buckingham Palace, United Kingdom, convened by Prime Minister David Cameran of Great Britain. Without controversy, corruption is a global phenomenon that is robbing people and nations of the earth, especially in Africa, of greater opportunities, rapid and sustainable economic development, political stability, equitable society, formidable peace and security.
DID SLPP LEARN GOOD LESSONS FROM ADP FLAGBEARERSHIP CONVENTION?
Every day we learn to live and we live to learn, particularly from both present and past events, be they good or bad. But looking at things, it seems as if the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) deliberately refusing to learn from both present and past happenings in the world, especially in the country’s political activities. They seemingly refusing to learn good lessons from the world’s every day events, especially political events, including Europe, America and African politics.
In view of that they also seems not to learn from their present and past mistakes for the success of their party in the country. Therefore, I am constrained to say that they seemingly failed to do that because of their personal prides and political egos of some of their members. They (SLPP) know why they are losing elections to APC, but they always turn blind eyes to that pretending not knowing anything about that at their own expense.
The SLPP know that they normally lose elections to APC because they do not believe in working very hard with honesty for the people in the country like what APC is currently doing. They spent complete 11 years in power but they did very little for the country and for its people, particularly in terms of the improvement of electricity (Kabbah tiger), good hospital facilities, good roads etc.
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, May 26, 2016/ -- Crises of all sorts, from conflicts to natural disasters to health emergencies, are happening at unprecedented rates around the world – so much so, that the United Nations is convening the first ever World Humanitarian Summit this month. There is increasing recognition that the sheer scale of the humanitarian challenges facing the world today means that governments like ours have to be prepared for future shocks, by laying the groundwork for more inclusive and resilient economies.
In our experience battling the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone, one solution saved lives, delivered major cost savings, and continues to help the economy rebuild and recover. For many, this solution is so simple and logical it is almost unexpected: digital payments.
When we digitized Ebola Response Worker payments, we reduced payment times from a month to a week, as a new study by United Nations-housed Better Than Cash Alliance has revealed (http://www.apo.af/Deh1qI). Getting payments to workers on time reduced fraud risks and increased efficiency and transparency.
The Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles and the Minister of Lands, Housing and Country Planning Ms. Diana Konomanyi have discussed a proposal for a consultative meeting that will set the stage for a conference on issues around land ownership.
Ms. Carlton-Hanciles who was meeting Ms. Diana Konomanyi for the first time following her recent appointment to that ministry explained that the consultative meeting she is proposing will bring together the Office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Office of the Chief Justice, the Judiciary and relevant government departments and agencies that will determine the scope of a very big conference.
Speaking on the rationale for her initiative, Ms. Carlton-Hanciles noted that her organization is overwhelmed with complaints bothering on land issues. ‘We have received over 500 complaints relating to land’ Ms. Carlton-Hanciles told the Minister. ‘Also, the Police in the Western Area charge 50 cases involving land to court every week.’ She added that cases involving land are right at the top of the National Crimes Statistics.
The Director of the Legal Aid Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles has called on the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) to establish a desk which her organization can contact on matters relating to military officers seeking legal assistance from the Scheme.
Speaking to an audience of senior military officer at the Military Headquarters at Cockeril on Tuesday, May 24 she said her organization is providing assistance to army officers in matters which fall under General Law. She was quick to point out that these matters do not fall under the purview of Legal Office of the RSLAF.
‘We have provided legal assistance to military personnel at the Pademba Road Correctional Center,’ she told her audience. ‘We have provided legal assistance on matters relating to maintenance, marital issues, domestic violence, child benefit, rape, threats and assault.’
In its continuous drive to seek for investment opportunities into the country and funding for the ongoing road infrastructure projects of the Government of His Excellency, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, the Sierra Leone Mission in the State of Kuwait led by Ambassador Ibrahim Bakarr Kamara, after a series of engagements with senior Management of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, has succeeded in getting the Board to approve a Loan for the completion of the Hill Side Bye Pass Road Project in Freetown.
The signing of the said loan agreement was done on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone (GoSL) by the Honourable Dr. Patrick Saidu Conteh, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. The signing ceremony took place on the side lines of the just concluded African Development Bank (ADB) Meeting, held in Lusaka, Zambia on Tuesday 24th May 2016.
In addition to the Hillside Bye Pass Road, the Embassy is also working vigorously with the Kuwait Fund to conclude the signing of the loan for the completion of the Tokeh/Lumley road project which has already been appraised by the Fund.