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.
Digital Learning worlds and Boundless Communication
The Internet has long since become an essential part of everyday life for students, researchers and academics, who after all were among the first to take advantage of the opportunities the technology offers for boundless communication. These days it is almost impossible to imagine life without the Internet, and hardly any area of society remains unaffected by the global network; teaching (virtual teaching) and research are also changing thanks to the opportunities of virtual communication. In the main feature of this article, I will be taking a look at the new digital learning worlds: a great deal is happening in all higher education, and people are engaged in a lively discussion about the consequences of educational offerings that are available anytime and anywhere, and about the new opportunities offered by the Internet when it comes to academic exchange and the democratization of knowledge.
Bo, July 15 (SLENA) - The Public Financial Management Reform Unit (PFMRU) in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) has started a two day seminar on the quality and timeliness of in- year report for devolved sector heads and finance officers of Local Councils at the J&E Resort in Bo.
According to Report in 2012, PFMRU in collaboration with key stakeholders including Audit Service Sierra Leone introduced the International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS), a cash basis reporting to all councils for the production of financial statement.
SUNDAYJULY 27, 2014 –The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) has set-up anEbola Response Committee to support the national fight against the deadly Ebola virus that has so far claimed the lives of some 165 Sierra Leoneans since the outbreak was confirmed in May this year.
SLAJ members, at a general meeting held at the Association’s secretariat, Campbell Street in Freetown on Saturday July 26, 2014, agreed that radio stations should allocate 30minutes airtime in their daily broadcast to pass on accurate information about the Ebola virus to members of the public, while newspapers also dedicate one-quarter page space for the publication of daily Ebola messages. The members also agreed that the broadcasts and newspaper publications should be done free of charge as the media’s contribution towards efforts tohalt the further spread of the disease.
The Fight against Corruption Should be the Business of all Sierra Leoneans
The fight against corruption the world over has never been an easy task; it has always been a challenging one especially in Africa where many governments continue to frown on the concept of transparency and accountability which enable the citizenries to hold their authorities accountable for their actions.
And when governments deliberately refuse to open up their day-to-day activities to their citizenries, there is the likelihood that such governments would involve in corrupt practices and their citizenries could not hold them accountable since their authorities are running closed governments.
THE SAFETY OF THE PRESIDENT IS PARAMOUNT TO NATIONAL STABILITY AND CANNOT AND SHOULD NOT BE COMPROMISED.
Many Sierra Leoneans have gone to school to study impressive professions but they seem to be ignorant about NATIONAL SECURITY NATIONAL STABILITY, AND THE CONSEQUENCES OF A PRESIDENT OF A FRAGILE COUNTRY SUDDENLY MEETING UNEXPECTED HARM. Some people do not also care for the safety of the President, as a human being. For some educated people to suggest that President Ernest Koroma should go to the Ebola-infested regions, to prove that his Government takes the Ebola fight seriously, is naive, reckless and depraved .
Freetown, July 24, 014 (MOHS) - The Director of Drugs and Medical Supplies and Chairman, Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone, Mr. Bassie Turay has described the Ebola outbreak as another war that calls for the concerted efforts of all patriotic Sierra Leoneans.
Addressing a sensitization meeting of Pharmacists, Pharmacy Technicians, and Proprietors of Pharmacies organized by the Ministry of Health Directorate of Drugs and Medical Supplies in collaboration with the Pharmacy Board and the Pharmaceutical Society of Sierra Leone at the Y.W.C.A. hall in Freetown, Mr. Bassie Turay called on all Sierra Leoneans including Pharmacists not to under-estimate the reality of the disease.
The Regional Manager South of the Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) Mr. Samuel Marah made a clarion call to the staff of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Bo, to take effective steps to curb corruption in the agricultural sector and the country as whole. Speaking to over fifty staff members, in a meeting organized by the ACC’s Regional Office at the Ministry's Conference Room at the Bo Kenema Highway on Tuesday 23rd July 2014, he said fighting corruption is a collective responsibility and should be the obligation of every member of society.
The Regional Manager said the Ministry of Agriculture is very strategic to the development of the country as it is responsible for attainment of food security and provides employment for huge percentage of the population as well as generate wealth from trade and commerce of agricultural product. He said corruption can bar the sector from achieving it full potentials. He pointed out that various works of the ACC such as the National Anti-Corruption Strategy 2014-2018 and the Systems Review Report of 2013 have pinpointed areas of concern which can give rise to corruption.
Moyamba district council to account for Le191 million
Moyamba, July 16 (SLENA) - In a hearing carried out by the Parliamentary Committee on Transparency and Accountability which took place at the Moyamba District Council on compliance based on the Local Government Act of 2004 by probing the operation of councils in the country, the committee discovered that one hundred and ninety-one leones (Le191 million) was spent on the rehabilitations of 15 water wells in the district which the committee said was not commensurate to the maintenance cost of the said water wells.
The committee found out that the engineering department was unable to defend the amount for the first, second and third quarter of 2013 for the rehabilitation of the fifteen standard water wells for the Moyamba township and some villages in the district.
Parliament on Thursday 17th July 2014 overwhelmingly approved the new Minister of Energy – Ambassador Henry Olufemi Macauley, his Deputy 2 – Alhaji Hassan Barrie and others to make tremendous and meaningful contributions to Sierra Leone.
Mr. Macauley was recently a High Commissioner to Nigeria with accreditations to the Republics of Angola, Benin, Cameroun, Congo, Equatorial Guinea and ECOWAS. He has a significant experience in corporate business development and International trade in the West African sub-region.
“I count myself lucky to have been given another opportunity after the ambassadorial position by President Koroma to serve my country in a different capacity” were the careful words of the new Minister.