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Parliamentary Committee on Information inspects fibre optic sites

Parliamentary Committee on Information inspects fibre optic sites

Jui, July 26 (SLENA) – As part of its oversight functions, the Parliamentary Committee on Information and Communications last week toured the ECOWAS’ regional e-Governance network and the fiber optic facilities in the Western Area, the Bo highway, Makeni-Rogbere Junction, Port Loko and Lungi.  (Photo: Information Committee, SALCAB Project Coordinator at Jui site)

The project is currently being managed by Sierra Leone Cable Limited (SALCAB) and HUAWAI and sponsored by the Government of Sierra Leone and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).

The Committee also visited government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) that fall within its purview including SALPOST, NATCOM, SIERRATEL and SLBC in Bo, Moyamba, Makeni, Port Loko and Kambia.

According to the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Binneh Bangura, the tour was to interface and establish their successes and challenges to see how best the Committee could step in to settle some of those challenges.

He noted that the tour would also enable MPs to get first-hand information on the ongoing e-Governance project so far and the various activities of MDAs in the provincial headquarters in order to improve communications and information in the country.

He said as a responsible committee, with so many considerations and expectations from the public, they couldn’t afford to continue relying on information coming from projects contractors or MDA officials alone.

In this vain, the chairman and members of the committee were not pleased with the condition of SALPOST in the provinces and expressed their misgivings.

However, through the magnanimity of the chairman the committee donated some amount of money to the Bo and Makeni Post Offices for the purchase of bicycles to enable them deliver posts on time.

Hon. Binneh also highlighted the importance of information and communications, adding that a country couldn’t develop without such components, noting that government and development partners were putting lot of monies into these projects, therefore positive results must be realized.

“Government is pouring huge sums of money into the running of MDAs and the Committee wants to know how those monies are being used,” he emphasized.

Members of the committee were curious to know the operations of the fiber optic and therefore quizzed Project Coordinator of SALC, Sahr M. Sewah on the quality and effectiveness of the work done so far and who would take responsibility for any future occurrence.

Members of Parliament also demanded explanation on how chambers and cables were being installed in towns and highways in order to prevent them from being stolen and also ensure that they were protected.

At the project sites at Jui and Lumpa, the SALCAB Project Coordinator, Sahr M. Sewah stressed the significance of the project and why the country should be part of the e-Governance system in order to compete globally.

Meanwhile, the Committee was lhighly impressed with the operations of certain MDAs such as NATCOM and SIERRATEL in the provinces.

Credit SLENA

By Sulaiman Bah

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