The Parliament of Sierra Leone yesterday, Tuesday 2nd October 2018, approved president Bio’s appointment of Professor Kelfala Kallon as the country’s new central bank governor.
His approval was made by MPs after debating – with some dissenting voices, the Twelfth Report of the Committee on Appointments and the Public Service, which is chaired by the Leader of Government Business – Hon. Sidie M. Tunis.
Twelve other presidential appointees were also approved by parliamentarians yesterday as follows:
Mr. Smart K. Senesie-Chairman, Sierra Leone Road Maintenance Fund Board Administration
Ms. Michaela Kadijatu Conteh-Chairman, Board of Directors, National Minerals Agency Board
Mr. Brima Mohamed Baluwa Koroma-Executive Chairman, Petroleum Regulatory Agency
Dr. James Vibbi-Executive Chairman, Produce Monitoring Board, Ministry of Trade and Industry
Mr. Joseph Samba Kelfala-Chairman, Board of Directors, Sierra Leone Roads Authority Board
Abdul Sheku Kargbo-Executive Director, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency
Mr. Sahr Nyama-Chairman, Board of Directors, National Youth Service Board
Mr. Arthur N. Yaskey-Commissioner, Sierra Leone Insurance Commission
Sheik Mustapha Bawoh-Chairman, Board of Directors, Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority Board
Ms. Anna Betty Moussa-Deputy High Commissioner, Federal Republic of Nigeria
Col. Rtd Saa Anthony Sinah-Deputy Commissioner, Sierra Leone Commission on Small Arms and
Rtd, Brig. Gen. Tamba R. Allieu-Commissioner, Sierra Leone National Commission of Small Arms
Congratulating the nominees after their approval, the Speaker of Parliament – Hon. Dr. Abass Bundu said that the nominees are qualified for the positions they had been nominated by the President.
He called on them not to either disappoint the President or Parliament, given the onerous responsibilities of their new assignments.
Seconding the motion approving the presidential appointees, Deputy Leader of Government Business – Hon. Sahr Mathew Nyuma described them as qualified.
He called on them to discharge their duties effectively, so as to positively affect the lives of ordinary Sierra Leoneans under the government’s New Direction agenda.
Hon. Abdul Kargbo of APC disassociated himself from the approval of the Bank Governor. He said that his nomination is in violation of certain provisions in the Bank of Sierra Leone Act of 2011, which makes provision for the tenure of office of the Bank Governor whose appointment could not be overturned save by anyone, except a resolution passed by Parliament.
Responding, Hon. Hindolo Ngevao of the ruling SLPP spoke about the qualifications and competencies of the nominees, especially the Bank Governor who had left the United States to come and serve his native Sierra Leone.
He told opposition MPs that the “doors of the courts are open to those who are in contention of his nomination”.
In reply, Hon. Alhaji Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella – leader of the NGC disagreed with the position of Hon. Ngevao’s “that if MPs are not happy, they should go to court”. He said the powers and functions of parliamentarians must be exercised without let or hindrance, and that there is the need for strengthening parliamentary oversight.
He stated that decisions of Parliament are not subject to the courts, and noted that the last government did not have the authority, yet they changed almost five Bank Governors during their reign.
Hon. Rebecca Y. Kamara of C4C commended the Committee on Appointments for doing a good job and President Bio for nominating three Konos, whom he said have played a major role in the development of the country, especially during the civil war.
The Acting Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo acknowledged the Speaker as acting President of Sierra Leone, stating that nobody has the authority to stop MPs from expressing their opinions in Parliament, and that past errors should not be used to accommodate new ones.
He also said that the Bank Governor was grilled with difficult questions and “that it is fair that in that light to say he had gone through the process”.
Concluding, the Leader of Government Business, Hon. Sidie M. Tunis assured the opposition parties of continued dialogue for the success of the New Direction agenda.
He noted that it is within the competency of the President to appoint nominees and that of Parliament to vet those nominees, in line with existing parliamentary protocols before approval