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.
Following recent misunderstanding among landowners in Sella Limba Chiefdom, Bombali District, Northern Sierra Leone, family heads have visited the leadership of the National Minerals Agency (NMA) to commend and update them on their peace initiative for peaceful co-existence in their communities.
The delegation for the Samura, Bangura, Dumbuya and Conteh families was led by the Chief of Kathanta who is also the Chairman of the Landowners-Pa Bunduka Conteh.
Giving an overview of the symbolic peace initiative, the Chairman of the Landowners said the fundamental reason for their visit was to thank NMA leadership under the stewardship of Sahr Wondeh and his Deputy Mr. Mathieu Tarawallie for their untiring roles to ensure that the Mines and Minerals Act of 2009 is fully adhered to by all and sundry. He said it was a daunting challenge especially when many who engaged in artisanal mining are illiterates and because they were landowners they thought their action was permissible by law.
As a prompt response to adequately bring the community station in Koinadugu District nearer to the people, Dr. Abu Bakar Tarawally has on behalf of his organization, the Sustainable Empowerment for the People of Koinadugu (STEP-K) donated 3 office filing cabinets, 3 office executive swivel chairs, 20 chairs for the news room and 10 tables to the Bintumani Radio station.
He said STEP-K knows the importance of information, noting that a radio station has the ability to reach across borders and become a source of reliable information where reliable news is scarce. According to him, when access to the internet is blocked and phone lines are cut, people can still search the airwaves for trustworthy sources.
He said the Bintumani radio has been very instrumental in educating and sensitizing the people of Koinadugu during the Ebola outbreak which hugely affected the District and the country in general.
Prior to the advent of our current two dominant religions in Sierra Leone, Islam and Christianity, the country’s, inhabitants rested their faith on the African Traditional Religion which is also monotheistic and embraces the omnipresence of God that gives the cause for worshipers to use intermediaries in glorifying the Almighty, God but which was misconstrued by the White man as idolatry because of lack of understanding of the Blackman’s concept of divinity.
Islam gained a foothold in the North of the country prior to the advent of Christianity in the 17th century and it became entrenched during the jihadist period in West Africa. Christianity first gained a foot hold in the West and South of the country and later made inroads into the North where it had been resisted for so long according to my research and investigation or Radar.
According to my Radar today, Islam stands to be the most dominant religion in the country winning over 80 % of the population but in contemporary times it is slowly losing members to the muscular churches characteristic with their singing and dancing which became popular through the advent of Nigerian pastors who introduced the concept of “miracles” that sounds so enticing to the poverty stricken society.
I love Sierra Leone for being a place where people are good at drawing up plans and agendas but are often poor in implementation.
It’s high time we change to the acceptable fashion of being good implementers. Otherwise we will continue to be the remarkable bunglers that we are, merely wasting our lives and our resources.
After our ten-year war, a lot of money poured in towards our disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration program – all of which ended being poorly managed. Turn around if you can and see the sorry state our former combatants are in, including the war wounded, orphans, and widows. They have become a liability to the state and to our conscience.
After several adjournments, a senior secondary school pupil of the Government Rokel Secondary School, Hassan Bangura, has yesterday 27 August been discharged for lack of prosecution.
The accused person was before Magistrate Moody of court No. 2 on one court charge of sexual penetration contrary to the Laws of Sierra Leone.
The prosecution alleged that between 1 February 2015 and 2 May 2015, at Morgan Street, the accused sexually penetrated a girl below the age of 18, to wit 16 years. He was denied making plea to the charge.
As Sierra Leone moves towards a resilient zero for the next 42 days, President Ernest Bai Koroma on Friday 28th August called on the public to support and embrace Ebola survivors as they strive to return to normal life. He made this call during the unveiling ceremony of the anti-stigma campaign billboard (located at Pademba Road-Dwarzack junction in Freetown) to ensure Ebola survivors return and live in their communities without being discriminated against.
The president emphasized that the anti-stigma campaign focuses on survivors believing they have given hope in the fight against the virus, and noted that the survival rate gave hope not only to the infected but also to the entire country.
President Koroma also said there are over 4,000 Ebola survivors across the country which represents the country's strength and resilience against the virus. He urged the general public to embrace, support and welcome survivors to their various communities, and also explained that government will ensure capacity building and support for all survivors in the implementation of post Ebola recovery programmes. "Government will continue to train you and provide you with free health care," he assured.
Freetown, Sept. 2 (SLENA) - Vice President Ambassador Victor Bockarie Foh has said in Freetown that the e-Passports are the latest generation of passports that combine printing and digital technology and that it is a revamp of the current Machine Readable passport that Sierra Leoneans are using.
The Vice President made this statement on behalf of His Excellency, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma while launching the e-passport (Biometric) at the Ministry of Internal Affairs Conference Hall at Gloucester Street, Freetown, earlier this week.
VP Foh recalled that his government through the leadership of His Excellency, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma in 2009 changed the old fashion handwritten passport to ECOWAS Machine readable passport system. The budge, he said, guaranteed the country’s conformity with international best practices, adding that it also made passport management more effectual and improved national and international security systems.
SLPP aspirant Dr Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella on 26 August 2015 met with the eastern districts members of the party at Paddys at Kissy Old Road in the eastern part of the capital Freetown.
In his address Dr Yumkella explained the purpose of visiting the largest districts in the Western Area which constitute 10 constituencies. He thanked supporters and members for the big welcome accorded him on past Monday at the party secretariat in Freetown.
He informed the gathering that the attack on him and his mother, Haja Binta Yumkella was a baptism by fire and stressed that he and his mother has forgiven all those who resorted to violence on that particular day.