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Momoh Konte Deserves Praise

Momoh Konte Deserves Praise

The truth, they say, is never hidden no matter how long it takes or no matter how one may want to bend it, it will certainly come out some day.
This maxim follows the recent media bashing of the outgoing chairman of the country’s telecom regulatory body, the National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM), Mr. Momoh Konte. Except otherwise, one may want to be economical with the truth, but the reality is, since his appointment by former President Ernest Bai Koroma in that position in March 2015, Mr. Konte worked exceptionally well to upgrade the Commission that was already in a state of moribund when he took over. The hardworking and committed chairman injected new life into the Commission by firstly restructuring the Institution and upgraded the status of workers as motivation to commit themselves to their duties which undeniably yielded the desired dividends.
Through his visionary, focused, innovative leadership and prudent planning, Mr. Konte in three years after his appointment was able to raise over twenty five billion leones (Le25Bn) through fines and renewal of licenses totally outweighing the ridiculous amount of eight hundred million leones (Le800M) his administration inherited. That sum was transferred to the Bank of Sierra Leone under the Treasury Single Account as directed by President Julius Maada Bio.
Unlike other mean leaders, Mr. Konte did not mortgage his integrity because he wanted to ensure the development of the institution. He always made sure he distances himself from any financial transaction that will bring down the Commission he admirably built.
And that vision and contentment proved prudent, because his administration sourced and funded the construction of a ten-storey building through fines and renewal of licenses from mobile phone operators to serve as the Commission’s headquarters at Hill Station after realizing that the current headquarters is not only small but no longer conducive for their work. Some people initially wanted him to take loan at the Commercial bank but he rejected that move.
Since he took over that institution, two major procurement processes were undertaken by the Commission which includes the building project and the International Gateway.
To ensure the whole procurement process was transparent and rigid, Mr. Konte made sure that representatives from the National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA), Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and Sierra Leone Institute of Engineers in the Ministry of Works served in the Procurement Committee. It must be emphasized that no board member ever took part in the procurement process within the last three years and that everything was left entirely in the hands of the Committee Chaired by the Director General.
It is also on record that the board of commissioners have never involved themselves in the financial affairs of the Commission because of the stringent and prudent policies undertaken by the Konte administration.
The Konte administration did all he could together with his Commissioners to run the institution as a professional entity devoid of politics, regional or tribal affiliation.
It will interest you to note that the institution was managed professionally by both the Commissioners and management which Konte ensured became efficient and effective. To maintain accountability and transparency, the outgoing Chairman also ensured that every expenditure is well defended by all relevant documents.
When he took over the institution, together with his team, they looked at the building project of the Commission’s headquarter at Hill Station, restructured the Commission to match with other Commissions across the globe. As if that was not enough, the Chairman made sure income generation became effective which in essence laid solid foundation for any incoming administration.
Just three years in office before being replaced yesterday, Mr. Konte was able to convince mobile phone operators to expand their network in far remote areas across the country especially the border areas. Today the people of Jendema in the Pujehun district, Jawie in Kailahun district, Neine Chiefdom in Koinadugu district, Thambaka Chiefdom in Karena district and Gbalamuya in Kambia district to name a few  can now boast of network coverage due to his intervention in addition to supporting institutions as part of their corporate social responsibilities.
He also initiated the one area network for countries in the Mano River Union basin (MRU) which has been adopted by ECOWAS because of its importance.
Under his dynamic leadership, the country hosted the Big Data conference at the Bintumani hotel which NATCOM and ITU sponsored. That conference brought together over one hundred ICT participants from across the globe and Sierra Leone has immensely benefited from that project.
The Konte administration also engaged SALCAB for the reduction of price of internet by Internet Service Providers which has resulted in the massive reduction of wholesale price.
With all this show of patriotism and massive contributions he made towards national development, it is, but fitting to fairly give what dues Momoh Konte rather than unjustly attacking him to score political gains. If you cannot appreciate his valuable contributions to society, then please leave him alone. No amount of victimization, intimidation or harassment will change his character. He remains focused and determined to push this country forward in whatever capacity.
History will judge him to be the best Chairman NATCOM has ever had due to his valuable contributions to society.
There is an adage which says: “A shade of a tree is not known until the tree is cut down.”  Those who know Momoh Konte will attest the fact that he does not compromise his integrity for nothing no matter the relationship.
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