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WHAT KILLED SIERRATEL & SALPOST? …Mobile revolution or lack of innovation? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ahmed Fonike   
Friday, 21 June 2013 19:54

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.


Business News

Tongo Fields Landowners to Protest against Octae Mining Company

Tongo Fields, March 31 (SLENA) - Members of the landowning families for the concessional diamond land in Tongo fields are planning a demonstration against Octae Mining Company in the Lower Bambara Chiefdom, Kenema District.

According to the residents, the company has deliberately refused to honour their obligation as stipulated in the mining agreement that was endorsed by parliament in 2012. Investigation by this press revealed that Octea Mining Company has not paid surface rent for almost two consecutive years. What is more worrisome is that since the company manifested interest in the lucrative diamond area many other companies have been rejected and frustrated from undertaking activities on the concessional area.


Media News


It has come to the attention of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) that a certain unscrupulous individual has been using an Africell Sim Card 077-938-596 to impersonate our Secretary General Moses Kargbo.

The said individual has been calling senior SLAJ members informing them of an alleged SLAJ meeting at 8pm Thursday 26th March 2015.

The SLAJ executive wishes to completely dissociate itself from any such alleged meeting and to make it known to the general public that SLAJ has never held any general meetings at night.



Education: Dead or Alive?

Schools will reopen on the 14th April 2015 after nearly eight months closure because of the Ebola outbreak, with mixed feelings from all stakeholders.

  Government more than all the other players are the ones insisting and working assiduously to get kids back to school – evidently shouldering up to 80 percent of the expenses. It insists the catching up of lost time is feasible, if the other players can only play their part.

  The other players, like the parents, are themselves worried about the lost time, but they are also equally worried about the trailing shadow of Ebola. The skeptical ones among them can’t understand why the whole year shouldn’t be lost until the full exit of the virus – so everyone will be fully prepared for the next academic year.


View Point


Although sometimes it is not good to open old wounds, because it triggers sorrowful events, good memory or emotional feelings, especially to those who were/are directly or indirectly being affected.

  However, it is because of the good and bad issues that history was made for reference or reflection purpose, especially for those who are very quick to forget. Therefore, sometimes it is necessary to remind them, by calling their attention to some of their wicked inhumane barbaric deeds and comments.


News - Press Release


? Total Survived and Discharged Cases = 3,344
? New Confirmed cases = 2 as follows:
Kailahun = 0, Kenema = 0, Kono = 0
Bombali = 0, Kambia = 0, Koinadugu = 0, Port Loko =0, Tonkolili = 0
Bo = 0, Bonthe = 0, Moyamba = 0 Pujehun = 0
Western Area Urban = 1, Western Area Rural = 1, Missing = 0
Hot Spots:
Western Area
Western Area Urban
- Kamara Town, Calaba Town (1)
Western Area
Western Area Rural
- Kissy Town, Waterloo (1)
? Cumulative confirmed cases = 8,547 as follows:
Kailahun = 565, Kenema = 503, Kono = 253
Bombali = 1,049, Kambia = 206, Koinadugu = 108, Port Loko = 1,442, Tonkolili = 454
Bo = 314, Bonthe = 5, Moyamba = 209, Pujehun = 31
Western Area Urban = 2,231, Western Area Rural = 1,162, Missing = 14
National Ebola Response Centre (NERC)
Media and Communications Office
Block 1 Former Special Court Complex
Jomo Kenyatta Road


Society -Local News

Skyy Women Network Train Women on 1991 Constitution

Skyy Women’s World Network (SWWN) has held a one-day workshop for Women mostly engaged in the Media and Civil Society groups across the country on the review process of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone yesterday at the 50/50 Group’s headquarter at Tower Hill Freetown.

  Speaking on the theme, “Engaging Women and Communities on the Constitutional Review Process,” Tiana Alpha, Station Manager Skyy Radio 106.6 FM and SWWN said that the forum is to engage women for their meaningful contribution towards the Constitutional review process.

  “The Constitutional review process offers an opportunity to improve democracy, good governance and issues affecting women,” Tiana noted.



Gannan Normal University Hosts Sierra Leonean Diplomat, Students on experience sharing exercise

Gannan Normal University, (GNNU) one of two provincial normal universities in Jiangxi province, in China, on 4tth April received a delegation of six Sierra Leoneans, including a Diplomat from the Embassy of Sierra Leone, John Baimba Sesay and five Sierra Leonean students (John Hinga Magay, Emmanuel Frederick Swaray, Ade Lamin Conteh-Haris, Lamrana Alieu Jalloh and Hinga Margai) reading Chinese Language at Masters Level, with support from the Confucius Institute.

The visit to the GNNU, slated to end on 7th of April, was aimed at enabling the team know more about the university and for the students to tell their experience since their arrival in China in September of 2014 for their studies. GNNU, over a year ago, jointly worked with the University of Sierra Leone in establishing the Confucius Institute at Fourah Bay College, which today is contributing to cultural and educational exchanges between Sierra Leone and China.



APC Finland Chapter commends President Koroma for appointment of Victor Foh

John Bairoh, Chairman, APC Finland Chapter, on behalf of APC Branch/Chapter in Finland congratulated the appointment of Ambassador Victor Bockarie Foh by His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma to be the Vice President of Sierra Leone.
“Well done on a deserved appointment!” he said. “We see your appointment as a clear demonstration of President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma’s recognition of your hard work, loyalty, dedication to party and commitment to the national service you have rendered to our nation. The action of our President also illustrates APC is not a party for one region or ethnic group in the country; it is for every Sierra Leonean.”
“We have followed with interest the great work you have rendered to our country and the APC party. You have been a full member of the APC party since 1970. You have worked with many members who regard you as an obedient and loyal person to the party. You have worked as an assistant Secretary General for the APC, and in this position you worked with His Excellency Edward Turay High Commissioner to the UK and former Secretary General of the APC who have high opinion of your work for our party. You also held the position of National Secretary-General of the APC for over 10 years in which you demonstrated courage and perseverance,” he noted.

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