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.
The United Bank for Africa (UBA) Thursday 29 January donated an additional cheque transfer of Three Hundred Thousand United States Dollars ($300,000) to support government in winning the fight against Ebola.
It could be recalled that UBA at the height of the Ebola outbreak last year donated One Hundred Thousand United States Dollars ($100,000) to complement government’s efforts to defeat the virus. It is worthy to note that this latest donation is part of the One Million Dollars donated by the bank to the three worst-hit countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
The armed attack on colleague Journalists of the satirical news magazine, Charlie Hebdo in France has been received with shock and dismay by freedom lovers the world over. The brazen and dastardly terrorist attack resulted in the cold-blooded murder of twelve people, including ten staff members and many more injured.
The nature and form of the terrorist operation, under the guise of religious extremism, indicates that the objective is to deal a fatal blow to the fundamental human right, of the free expression of views and ideas, which are essential components of democratic governance.
In the year 2014 when the Mano River Union countries were hard hit by the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), the world witnessed a major decline in oil prices between June and December, bringing an end to a 4 year period of relative price stability. Just as this event, there have been various episodes of price declines of more than 30% occurring in a 6 month period during the past three decades. Between 2010 and 2014, prices remained stable around $110 per barrel but a dramatic fall to $48 has been received with mixed global outcomes.
Against this backdrop, many citizens have raised concerns as to why these declining prices of oil have not been reflected in every sector of the economy to help stimulate and spread economic activity. In fact, the average Sierra Leonean is more concerned about how the global price reduction will make petroleum products cheaper, such that it helps to reduce the price of other basic goods and services via the pass-through effect.
EBOLA Has Not Put an End to Female Circumcision in Sierra Leone
The following are 4 reasons why this Huffington Post article on female circumcision, misnomered as Female Genital Mutilation by opponents, making its rounds on Sierra Leone listservs and social media over the last week is flawed, misleading and terribly insensitive to the Ebola Crisis that is facing the country at the moment:
1.General Ban on Public Gatherings: To my knowledge there has been a general ban on all activities that can exacerbate the spread of the Ebola virus in the country: i.e. public gatherings, dances, ceremonial practices and especially traditional circumcisions – female and male – that involve exposure to bodily fluids such as blood, which is a major mode of transmission of this deadly virus. Traditional female circumcision practices are no exception to this important rule and are not targeted in isolation of other activities and practices that could endanger people’s lives during this time of crisis.
? DISCHARGED CASES
? Total Survived and Discharged Cases = 2,181
? NEW CASES
? New Confirmed cases = 12 as follows:
Kailahun = 0, Kenema = 1, Kono = 0
Bombali = 0, Kambia = 0, Koinadugu = 1, Port Loko = 7, Tonkolili = 0
Bo = 0, Bonthe = 0, Moyamba = 2, Pujehun = 0
Western Area Urban = 1, Western Area Rural = 0, Missing = 0
Note: Missing = sample which could not be traced to a district due to wrong information or data on lab forms
? CUMULATIVE CASES
? Cumulative confirmed cases = 8,003 as follows:
Kailahun = 565, Kenema = 499, Kono = 238
Bombali = 985, Kambia = 150, Koinadugu = 104, Port Loko = 1,307, Tonkolili = 448
Bo = 314, Bonthe = 5, Moyamba = 205, Pujehun = 31
Western Area Urban = 2,021, Western Area Rural = 1,117, Missing = 14
? CUMULATIVE DEATHS
? Total cumulative confirmed death is 2,851
National Ebola Response Centre (NERC)
Media and Communications Office
Block 1 Former Special Court Complex
Jomo Kenyatta Road
President Ernest Bai Koroma last Friday appointed the Chief Executive Officer of Transtech International, Momoh Kemoh Konte, as the new Chairman of the country’s telecommunications industry, the National Telecommunications Communications.
Along with him, Mr. Mohamed N’fah-Alie Conteh has also been appointed as Chairperson of the National Electoral Commission, subject to parliamentary approval.
Another nominee is Justice Valesius Thomas to act as Chief Justice starting 6 February 2015 when the current Chief Justice Umu Hawa Tejan Jalloh proceeds to leave to retirement in accordance with the provisions of section 136 (1) (b) of the constitution of Sierra Leone.
The Special Representative of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany in the fight against Ebola, Ambassador Walter Lindner, has officially handed-over in the presence of the German Ambassador in Freetown and Experts of THW (German Federal Agency for Relief), on the 26th January, 2015, ninety-six (96) motor bikes to the Chief Executive Officer of National Ebola Response Centre (NERC), Maj. (Rtd.) Palo Conteh.
The motor bikes are urgently needed in the fight against Ebola to facilitate the timely transportation of blood samples.
As new confirmed cases of Ebola continue to take a downward trend, the Director of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Mr Mohamed Abdiker and its regional Director Carmela Godeau during a courtesy call on President Ernest Bai Koroma at State House, commended him for his effective leadership in the fight against the deadly virus.
The IOM has been involved in training frontline care workers and also in training personnel to secure the country’s borders.