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 people of Kathiri Village, Sella Limba Chiefdom in Bombali District have disclosed that they will never forget AMR Gold Exploration Company, for supporting the formation of an Artisanal Mining Cooperative that is currently bettering their lives.
The Cooperative, with a hundred members - comprising mostly young people - is in line with the government’s campaign to properly regulate and manage artisanal mining, as required by the Mines and Minerals Act 2009.
AMR Gold is not only providing technical support, but funding the cooperatives to enable them to pay the salaries of their workers, and teach the artisanal miners effective and efficient mining practices targeting recoveries of 90% of the mineral present.
The revenues from the sale of the Coltan will be distributed according to the agreements entered into between AMR Gold and the Cooperatives and it is hoped that a portion of the funds will be used to support community development programmes.
The Editor of Salone Times Newspaper, Thomas Dixon, on Tuesday 8 December2015, apologized to Parliament for publishing a misleading story on the Ministry of Information and Communications’ budget that was before the Sub- Appropriation Committee Three, chaired by Hon. Benneh Bangura.
Presenting his apology at the Conference Room of Parliament, Thomas Dixon, against a backdrop of evidence presented, including sections of the Parliamentary Standing Orders and of the 1991 Constitution premised on contempt of parliament, promised to do a retraction and apologize to Parliament (for failing to follow procedures and presenting inaccurate figures).
Earlier, the Clerk of Parliament, Hon. Ibrahim Sesay, welcomed journalists, describing the meeting as a family discussion.
Female circumcision – “women must have the right to choose” ...says Dr. Fuambai Sia Ahmadu
Sierra Leonean-American medical anthropologist, Fuambai Sia Ahmadu, PhD is calling for an end to what she describes as Zero Tolerance Propaganda Campaigns.
Dr. Ahmadu made the pronouncement on Friday, February 5 a day ahead of the United Nations (UN) 13th anniversary of International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
She said a report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicating female circumcision in the USA has more than double is spurious.
The UN describes FGM as a procedure that alters or injures the female genitalia for non medical reasons, a practice recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. The UN has a "specific target" in its Sustainable Development Goals to wipe out the practice by 2030.
Alie Kabbah cannot ignore questions around Personality
Imagine a highly educated person who has lived most of his adult life in the United States of American and seen politics at work in that part of the world tells you not to focus on ‘Personality’ but on ‘Issues’ – policies, programmes and manifestos - in choosing your leaders. I take ‘Personality’ to mean the character, private life and also track record.
Well, if you had listened to the Radio Program 101 moderated by veteran Journalist David Tam-Baryoh over the weekend, this was what Alie Kabbah alluded to. It was the most used phrase in his interview. He promised us that his campaign for flag bearer will not focus on personalities.
As the heaven could have it, the closest Tam-Baryoh came to asking a question bothering on Personality was to say he was not going to ask questions relating to the bigamy case against Kabbah so as not to prejudice justice.
On 25th February, President Koroma will lead his Government to London, for the UK-Sierra LeoneTrade & Investment Forum: the country’s most significant investment outreach in recent years. Organised by DMA in partnership with SLIEPA and supported by UN, ECOWAS, Mano-River Union, FCO,UKTI;the visit will outline the opportunities that exist to foreign investors, as well as the government’s broader economic development.
Since 2001, Sierra Leone has enjoyed peaceful government transitions, some of the highest-ranking GDP growth rates in the world and continues to remain committed to attracting quality international investment into the country.
The UK-Sierra Leone Trade & Investment Forum is an important part of Sierra Leone’s post-Ebola economic recovery plan where HE President Koroma will present his Government’s agenda to restore and strengthen private sector growth and to encourage new inward investment.
Hon. Amadu Fofanah alias Fofie has assured the public that the outcome of the Parliamentary investigation on an allege insult and demolition at Fergusson will be explained to them at the end of it all.
His pronouncement comes following a Ministry of Defence in a press conference held on Tuesday 2nd February 2016 for the first time spoke on the status of an ongoing Parliamentary Defence and Presidential Affairs
Oversight Committee investigation in an allege case of insult, demolition and raining of tyranny involving a certain military personnel, Hon. Fofie and constituents of constituency 109 .
State drops state of emergency charge against SLPP supporters
The State on Wednesday dropped the charge under the emergency regulation against 12 SLPP supporters in Kenema and the former Regional Senior Human Rights Officer for the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone .
The 13 are standing trial in the Kenema Magistrate Court after they were arrested on Independence Day in 2015 on allegations of illegal gathering, riotous conduct, incitement and other related matters.
In dropping the count charge, Senior State Counsel Monfred Sesay told the court that he was applying to amend the formation of count 5 which was an offence charged under the Public Emergency Regulation "which we do not want to proceed with so it's left now with 10 counts" .The lead Prosecution lawyer said.
A member of parliament who is also a paramount chief, Hon Bai Kurr Kanagbaro Kasanka III, in his contribution in the ongoing debate of President Koroma’s national address in Parliament, condemned the resurgence of ebola in his native Tonkolili, northern Sierra Leone.
Hon Bai Kurr said the resurgence of ebola is actually an unfortunate situation, something that should be further investigated – to the applause of many in the House.
Hon Bai Kurr also thanked President Koroma for his leadership skills and for being an exemplary president, who has a lot of achievements under his belt.