As Afsatu Kabba gives way, fisheries boss brings new life to ministry
The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Joseph Koroma (in photo) last week Thursday disclosed to journalists at the weekly press briefing that within six months of his appointment as Fisheries and Marine Minister he has made lots of strides in transforming the ministry from a popularly corrupt entity to a one that is development focused, generating substantial revenue for government.
Minister Koroma said his ministry has a mandate to sustain and rationally manage the marine resources of the country, adding that the Marine and Fisheries Industry is amongst the bread baskets of government, expected to provide large portion of government revenue.
He informed the media of some of the things he has accomplished during his six months as minister, citing the recent $28 million project he has tapped from World Bank for the construction of jetties in the country, a project that has been funded by the African Development Bank (ADB).
He also spoke of the MOU he has with the Vietnamese government to establish an Aqua Culture Fish Pond in four strategic locations in the country, namely, Bonthe district, Tonkolili district and two others he did not name including an inland farming programme.
Mr. Koroma further disclosed that he has generated eleven billion Leones as part of his ministry’s drive to collect revenue for the government within the six months he has been in that ministry.
He disclosed that in order for his ministry to adapt the culture of transparency he has created a space for the National Revenue Authority (NRA) to collect revenue generated from his ministry, a system that has not been in practice in the ministry over the years.
The minister also said his ministry has secured a loan from UNIDO in the sum of one million $1 million dollars for the reconstruction of the Marine Training School at Kissy Dock Yard, a platform that would be used to train Marine Staff to acquire more skills to enable them become forthcoming in the protection of the country’s marine resources.
He emphasized his ministry’s commitment to surmount the criteria of the EU markets so that Sierra Leone will start exporting fish into the European market.
Mr. Koroma further informed journalists that the Cabinet has approved $575,000 for the acquisition of correct fishing nets to be distributed to fishermen at a lower cost, adding that his ministry is putting structures in place to build fish markets across the country to ensure that people have easy access to local fish products.
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