Mr. President you made no mistake in appointing Dr. Sarah Bendu as the Executive Director of SLRTA!
When His Excellency the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma took up office in 2007 in his inaugural speech he promised the people and the nation that he was going to empower women through the allocation of at least 30% quota to women and in 2012 he made a similar promise. Today we can see women participating actively in mainstream politics, Media, as Public Administrators that is Heads of Government Ministries, Agencies and Departments across the country others are serving the country in the Diaspora. (Photo: Mohamed L. Jalloh Intern SLRTA, author)
I do not want to start naming names of women you have empowered because the list would be very long. But one exceptional case is the appointment of Dr. Sarah Finda Bendu as the substantive Executive Director of the Sierra Leone Road Transport Authority (SLRTA). Her appointment came at a time when the country needed someone with the caliber, and knowledge that would not only generate revenue for the Government but at the same time utilize these funds judiciously and restore perfect sanity in the transport industry.
SLRTA is a very structured Government Parastatal but over the years some ill motivated individuals who called themselves Sierra Leoneans who only care about how to satisfy their selfishness and rapacity and careless about how to push President Koroma’s Agenda For Prosperity and the country forward.
Dr. Sara Finda Bendu is a woman many others (including men) want to emulate simply because of her hard work, determination to succeed in whatever she does. She has done a lot since she took up office as the Executive Director of SLRTA.
During her tenure as Executive Director of SLRTA she commissioned a heavy-duty wrecker and a modern tow truck which the SLRTA is using currently to enforce the Road Traffic regulations by getting scrap abandoned vehicles off the streets and highways in order to ensure safer roads for all. Under her regime she has succeeded in establishing an Emergency Toll Free Line 2244 for the general public to report incidence of reckless driving, road crash/ accident and to also make inquiries on the activities of the SLRTA. She has also established a branch at the Queen Elizabeth Quay where they now issue Temporal Vehicle Registration (TVR) tag, just to get rid of unregistered vehicles from plying the streets. The establishment of a website and a Facebook page just for the SLRTA to be in line with concept of “Global village” and social network respectively.
Today under the stewardship of Dr. Sarah Finda Bendu, Sierra Leone can boast of having an ultra-modern state of the art Vehicle Fitness Centre and well trained personnel at the headquarters of SLRTA to make sure that vehicles are roadworthy before they are licensed and registered.
Her successes are not only limited in machinery and equipment. In a bid to capacitate her staff Dr. Sarah Finda Bendu always hires trained consultants to conduct training for her staff as a way of human resource empowerment.
In her road safety drive, Dr. Sarah Finda Bendu and her team developed a National Road Safety Policy, Strategy and Trust Fund which was launched recently by H.E President Koroma though he was not in attendance but he was represented. After almost four decades, as a woman and a mother, Dr. Bendu thought it fit that school children who are the most vulnerable are exposed to the risk of getting involved in road crashes because they use the roads frequently, therefore they must be schooled on how to use the roads responsibly. SLRTA is presently on a Nationwide Road Safety Campaign to Schools and today we can also boast of having Road Safety Club in many schools.
I am saying this without any iota of doubt that it is during Dr. Sarah Bendu’s tenure that the SLRTA establish a very cordial relationship with the Media, the Sierra Leone Police, the Indigenous Transport Owner Association (ITOA), Bike Riders Union, CCSL, United Council of Imams, Drivers Union etc.
Dr. Sarah Finda Bendu has done a lot and she is still doing her bit in order to compliment the President’s Agenda for Prosperity and as a hardworking woman she deserves praises.
It is an open secret that without women’s participation in nation building there would be little or no development in that particular nation. Women are important in our society. Each and every woman has a role or duty to perform in the society.
Mr. President you will agree with me that the role of women in nation building is so important that it should not be overemphasized. Women are the building blocks on which rest a develop nation. And posterity will judge me if I fail to state that the appointment of Dr. Sarah Finda Bendu as Executive Director of SLRTA was no mistake.
by Mohamed L. Jalloh Intern SLRTA
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