Sierra Leone’s Minister Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United Nations and COORDINATOR of the Committee of 10 at the UN , Hon. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu, today addressed Sierra Leoneans in New Jersey about the achievements of the All People’s Congress (APC) government , led by President Ernest Bai Koroma . Rev.Kabs-Kanu told the Sierra Leoneans at EDGEMERE in Franklin Township , Somerset, NJ , during an impromptu meeting , that the government was addressing the needs of Sierra Leoneans and they should not mind the lies and vicious propaganda being peddled by the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) supporters online. Rev.Kabs-Kanu, who bragged that nobody will succeed to change the perception of
Sierra Leoneans about President Koroma’s achievements, said he was addressing the Sierra Leoneans to erase the lies and distortions being spread about the government by detractors.
President Ernest Koroma has brought lots of positive changes to Sierra Leone but those busy trying to damage the country’s image abroad with the hope of using the international community to regain power are busy distorting the reality of what is happening in Sierra Leone. Rev.Kabs-Kanu gave 13 reasons for Sierra Leoneans to celebrate the rule of President Ernest Bai Koroma .
1. When President Koroma came to power in 2007, Sierra Leone has the highest infant and maternal death mortality rate in the world . The SLPP left Sierra Leone in a very pitiful state. But today, the death rates have diminished significantly through the efforts of the government. Sierra Leone’s hospitals and clinics , which had absolutely nothing to work with, are now being stocked with modern equipment and medicines.
2. When President Koroma came to power in 2007, Sierra Leone had the dirtiest city in WEST AFRICA. The SLPP neglected the capital . But under President Koroma’s rule, Sierra Leone today has the cleanest city in West Africa. The government has initiated programs that have resulted in regular cleaning of the city. The mountains of garbage heaps in the city that were a feature of Sierra Leone during SLPP rule are gone.
3. When President Koroma came to power in 2007, the capital, Freetown, had the shameful distinction of being the darkest city in the world. There was no electricity , but today , electricity has been restored in the capital. Freetown is no longer the darkest city in the world. Even if the President’s critics say that the light fluctuates and is expensive, the fact remains that there is light in the capital today, bringing to an end the stone age lifestyle that was manifest during SLPP rule.
4.When President Koroma came to power in 2007, there was no hope that Sierra Leoneans would ever enjoy modern hydroelectricity , like other progressive nations in Africa.The SLPP had abandoned the Bumbuna Hydroelectricity Project.Monies donated by foreign partners to finish the project had been embezzled by the SLPP Government. However, President Koroma, on coming to power, made electricity one of the priorities of his government. Subsequently, the Bumbuna project was given new impetus and funding and the result is that very soon this rainy season in Sierra Leone, Bumbuna will be switched on and electricity will spread all over the country. President Koroma
5. When President Ernest Koroma came to power in 2007, inflation was at an all-time high and prices of basic commodities had gone through the roof, but today, thanks to President Koroma’s economic policies, inflation has been reduced in Sierra Leone.
6. President Koroma has opened Sierra Leone to commerce and industry. The opening of the Sierra Leone Stock Exchange last Saturday was a positive step in the direction of stimulating commerce in Sierra Leone. Sierra Leoneans and foreign partners in progress can now buy stocks in Sierra Leone and contribute towards improving the investment climate in the country.
7. When President Koroma came to power in 2007, Sierra Leone was at loggerheads with international donor agencies. The IMF and World Bank had withdrawn their officials from Sierra Leone because of the profligacy of the SLPP Government which embezzled millions of dollars of donor funds. However, since President Koroma came to power in 2007, he has succeedded in winning back the support and goodwill of these donor agencies.The IMF and World Bank have returned and are providing necessary support to the country. Sierra Leone is presently on track in her Poverty Alleviation strategy initiatives.
8. Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad have now been offered the opportunity to own their own homes. The government of President Ernest Bai Koroma , through the HFC Mortgage and Savings Limited , which is owned by the National Social Security and Insurance Trust ( NASSIT ) , will provide affordable loans and mortgage to Sierra Leoneans which will make it possible for them to own their own homes.
9. Since President Koroma came to power, he has declared the Diaspora as the 5th region of Sierra Leone .The President has devised a diaspora initiative scheme that will involve diasporan Sierra Leoneans in nation-building . The diasporan money remittance scheme alone is capable of stimulating the Sierra Leone economy and providing sufficient foreign exchange for socio-economic development.
10. Realising that the youths are the bane of development , President Ernest Koroma has set up a national youth council to explore the possibility of providing jobs for youths in the country. During the reign of the SLPP, the youths of Sierra Leone were completely abandoned and were not treated with any seriousness. The then SLPP Government had no plan in place for the youths.
11. The government of Sierra Leone, under President Ernest Koroma, has set up THE AGENDA FOR CHANGE, a poverty alleviation strategy ,which was recently endorsed by stakeholders and international partners-in-progress during the last UN Peace building Summit in New York. The Agenda For Change focusses on four key priority areas : the Energy Sector, agriculture and fisheries; national transportation and the effective delivery of basic social services, including education and health . When fully implemented with the cooperation of stakeholders and the Sierra Leonean people, the AGENDA FOR CHANGE will transform the economy, the infrastructure , the educational and health services in a way that no government has done in Sierra Leone. During the PBS Summit at the UN, support was mobilized for President Koroma’s Agenda For Change and the UN Joint Vision For Sierra Leone . President Koroma’s visionary leadership can therefore be seen as being unmatched by anything we have ever had in Sierra Leone.
12. Under President Ernest Bai Koroma, government in Sierra Leone is no longer conducted in secrecy. Through the Sierra Leone Government/UNDP Open Government Initiative, the APC Government has ensured that democracy, the Rule of Law and free flow of communication through open channels of communication amongst the three organs of government and between the government and the people prevail in Sierra Leone .
13. Sierra Leone’s international image has improved tremendously under President Ernest Koroma.During the recent UN Peacebuilding summit on Sierra Leone in New York, international donor agencies, stakeholders and Sierra Leone’s development partners praised the President highly for his inspiring and progressive leadership and the dramatic socio-economic and political changes taking place in Sierra Leone under the Koroma Presidency.
The Minister Plenipotentiary called on Sierra Leoneans to have confidence in the Ernest Koroma Presidency and to exercise patience with the government as it tackles the mess left behind by the unprogressive and unproductive SLPP Government , which ruined the country socio-economically and politically. He assured the Sierra Leoneans that if given the chance, President Koroma will make all Sierra Leoneans proud of their country once again.
The minister plans to have more impromptu meetings with Sierra Leoneans to explain to them the policies of the government and President Ernest Bai Koroma.
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