Is Mr. President Going to Divide the Ministry of Labour in Sierra Leone?
As we enter into a political era that signals great “prosperity” for our nation, President Koroma is making his sound and uninterrupted judgment of selecting his team of men and women who would be helping him champion his “Agenda for Prosperity”. Apart from 11 new faces; mostly Deputy Ministers, all the other appointees are clearly what one would call a strategic repositioning of his old guards who had served with him in the last five years. This is important because the President is looking forward to running an administration that can deliver on the many promises that he had made to the people of Sierra Leone before, during, and after the campaign and elections. The business of running a nation that has high prospects for unprecedented economic growth is one that must be taken seriously; and I think President Koroma understands this more than anyone else because he is the one on the driver’s seat and the one that must direct this nation toward the anticipated prosperity. (Photo: Daniel Gaima (in red) and Mustapha Massaquoi on the campaign trail)
I have said time and again that this President has never been confused about what he wants for this country and her people. Of the appointments he has made so far, we still have Five (5) Ministerial and Five (5) Deputy positions that are still hanging. Those would be Tourism; Youth, Sport and Employment; Political and Public Affairs; Minister of State in the Vice President’s office and Ministry of Labour. And if the rumour that he is going to divide the Ministry of Labour into two – namely; Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Social Security is true, then we can say that we have Twelve (12) positions remaining in his new cabinet.
In all of this, my attention was drawn to the very Ministry of Labour and its young, dynamic and totally unassuming caretaker of a Minister – Honorable Daniel Gaima; who started off as a Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Lands and was subsequently reassigned as Deputy Minister of Youths, Sport and Employment from where he was later reassigned as Deputy Minister of Labour under the late Honorable Hindolo Sumangura Samuel Trye. Over this period of assignment and reassignment to these Ministries, Hon Gaima had the opportunity to learn the ropes of governance and how to do right for and by his fellow Sierra Leoneans.
Since the passing away of his boss at the Ministry of Labour, Hon Gaima has been manning the Ministry as a Deputy Minister and acting Minister; though not officially pronounced. He impressively resolved the conflict involving the Motor Drivers’ Union which saw the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for peaceful resolution; which brought the opportunity for President Koroma to be crowned as “National Chief Driver”. This is a conflict that his two predecessors, Hon Minkailu Mansaray and the late Hon Hindolo Trye left behind. Hon Gaima also championed and completed the registration exercise of the aged people in the country to ensure that their Social Security benefits are collated and paid when they are due.
He, in his wisdom as a young professional, led the effort to develop a “National Action Plan” on campaigning against “Child Labour”; while working assiduously to create jobs for Sierra Leoneans overseas as would be seen in the 100 jobs created just after the general elections for Sierra Leoneans to work in Iraq. During his last visit to Geneva, he appealed to the International Labour Organization (ILO) to help review the obsolete labour laws in Sierra Leone in order to improve the country’s industrial relations with other countries. Such appeal has recently been granted by the ILO. And most recently, alongside the Minister of Mineral Resources, Hon Minkailu Mansaray, Hon Daniel Gaima participated in resolving the crisis at the Koidu Holdings, which has brought sanity to the operations of this important source of our national income. He presided over the National Employment Policy which is now in the hands of the Secretary to Cabinet and at the stage of being taken to Cabinet for endorsement/ratification. No matter what happens to this young man, he has contributed immensely to the actualization of President Koroma’s “Agenda for Change”, which has paved the way for the “Agenda for Prosperity”; and I strongly believe that this young man will be useful to this country now and in many years to come. Honorable Daniel Gaima, you are one of the unsung heroes of our time and we wish you all the best!
Brima Michael Turay, PRO; APC North America
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