The Republic of Sierra Leone Parliament on Thursday 23rd May, 2013 successfully debated and ratified two financial agreements in the Chamber of Parliament for the economic advancement of the country particularly in the areas of Agriculture and Transportation. The two agreements which received parliamentary ratification, and enjoyed twin presentation by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Momodu Kargbo by leave of Mr. Speaker were:
In presenting the agreements for parliamentary ratification, the Minister said that the former is a grant from IFAD with the view of promoting smallholders commercialization programmes such as the rehabilitation of feeder roads in Kono, Kenema, and Koinadugu; tree crop plantations and village nurseries and solar lights are being improved; capacitating councils’ staff in records management and monitoring and evaluation component of the project; and the latter is a $14 million loan agreement for the completion of the Matotoka-Sefadu Road with the remaining $11 million to be provided by Government as the loan period will last for 20 (twenty) years.
In contributing to the debate, the Minority Leader Hon. Bernadette Lahai said both agreements affect road construction and agriculture whose relationship she described as symbiotic. She said good roads attract agricultural development and modernization. She also opined that “the executors of the agreements are not above the people who are the true beneficiaries as the SLPP had planned and developed these long ago.” She also said that all the chiefdoms in Kono are largely agriculturally based with the exception of 3 (three) which are linked with mining activities. She said the projects are important for the development of the country as they will assist small scale under-resourced farmers. “Nobody can politicize food and road as the end-users of these by-products cannot be determined” she said. She thanked the Minister, Government, and Parliament for bringing such projects which are owned by the people of Sierra Leone.
In his response, Majority Leader of Parliament, Hon. Sheku B.B Dumbuya said he was pleased with the contributions made by Members in the governing and opposing bench as their faces were beaming with very broad smiles. And he said “APC will continue to make them happy to maintain them where they are”.