By Siraju Bah
The outgoing Minister of Information and Communications, Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, has officially handed over the mantle of leadership of the Ministry to the incoming Minister, Honourable Alhaji Alpha Kanu.
On assuming office, The Honourable Minister Alhaji Alpha Kanu described the outgoing Minister as his mentor and ‘oasis of knowledge’. He thanked the Minister for putting in place a sound infrastructure to take the Ministry to the next level in line with the Agenda for Prosperity.
The incoming Minister further described I. B. Kargbo as a role model by dint of his vast experience in education, journalism and politics, adding that he has made an imprint on the sands of democracy.
He called on the entire staff of the Ministry to work in concert as a family so that the President’s vision of the Agenda for Prosperity will be achieved, saying that his administration would focus on dialogue and open door policy.
In his remarks, the outgoing Minister Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo thanked staff of the Ministry for their total support in taking the Ministry of Information and Communications to another level.
He recalled that prior to 2007, the Ministry of Information and Communications was referred to as a purgatory. He said when the communication component was added to the Ministry, it posed enormous challenges. However, the united team, he added, worked assiduously with him to transform the Ministry in line with the Agenda for Change.
The outgoing Minister emphasized that the Ministry of Information and Communications has graduated into an enviable political and administrative entity.
Highlighting some of the achievements of the Ministry under his leadership, the former Minister said efforts were made to reactivate the Sierra Leone News Agency (SLENA) with the establishment of four media resource centres countrywide to improve on internet service delivery and fast track information dissemination.
He said plans were underway to improve the Sierra Leone Postal Service (SALPOST) and the Government Printing Department was given a face lift in terms of the provision of modern equipment. He described the landing of the Submarine Fibre Cable as the flagship of the Ministry.
He said much has been done to modernize SIERRATEL to catch up with current trends with telecommunications in line with international best practice.
He stated that there was urgent need for the setting up of new Board of Directors for the Spectrum for the universal access fund for the effective monitoring of NATCOM and mobile companies operating in the country.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Communications, SAT Tamu, described the outgoing Minister as a father who presided over the family and ensuring that the Ministry achieved some of its desired objectives in line with the Agenda for Change.