The current leadership in the country seems to be losing grip of its duties and responsibilities in serving a poor nation that is yearning for a massive transformation.

President Bio stated during his inaugural address at the National Stadium on Saturday 12th May 2018 that “Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, the strategic objective of the policies and programs outlined in our New Direction agenda is to change and transform Sierra Leone into a country that we can all be proud of.

The Audacious Vision of our New Direction revolution is to provide efficient political and economic management of the state and our abundant natural resources for the benefit of all Sierra Leoneans. That is why the underlying principles of our New Direction agenda are based on Disciplined Leadership, Integrity, Professionalism, Efficiency and competent service Delivery for the People of Sierra Leone.” Sierra Leoneans are now left to judge whether the transformation promised by the number one gentlemen of the state has been realized or not.

It is no longer a secret that the country is plagued with massive electricity outages, poor water supply facilities, massive hunger and starvation, poor standard of living, etc. These according to investigations, are characterized by an overall poor leadership and incompetent individuals appointed to manage some key sectors like electricity, water supply, agriculture, finance, mines, mineral resources, etc.

Recent events unfolding in the energy sector have exposed the incompetence of the current regime to provide enough electricity supply to most cities across the country (Freetown, Bo, Makeni, Kenema, and Koidu New Sembehun cities).

It was in May 2020, President Bio told Parliament that “Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, with current energy access at 18%, my Government will pursue its overall policy objective of providing adequate, affordable and sustainable power supply nationwide, to stimulate economic development through the consolidation, improvement, and expansion of existing and potential energy supply infrastructure.” In December 2021 during the Commissioning of the ‘so-called’ TRANSCO CLSG Interconnections in Bo and Kenema, the President emphasized that: “The lesson from developing economies is simple. More electricity means more economic activity and better jobs, more profitable private capital investments, increased manufacturing and technological capacity, increased food production, more innovation, better healthcare and education, greater use of telecommunications, and better quality of life in general”.

Sierra Leoneans interviewed are with the view that the government is not serious about addressing the electricity problem, which forms part of its unfulfilled promises.

Investigations revealed that since the commission of the TRANSCO CLSG power supply in Bo and Kenema, the two cities have realized a massive blackout more than ever in their history. “We started having electricity outages since the government launched the Ivory Coast power supply project in 2021. Our cities (Bo and Kenema) are now the darkest in the country. We have made several calls and admonishing to our leaders to provide us with uninterrupted electricity supply, but all seem to have fallen into deaf ears,” says John Kalugba Massaquoi, a Businessman in Kenema City.

A public notice by the Management of the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) dated 11th March 2022 stated thus “Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority would like to inform the general public that Karpowership which is one of its sources of generating power for subsequent supply and distribution to customers is currently experiencing some technical challenges which has led to a drop in its normal generation output for the time being. The Authority’s engineers and technicians are currently working with Karpowership’s technical experts to identify the root cause of the challenges and proffer solutions as quickly as possible. EDSA would want the public to know that as a result of the drop in the generation capacity of Karpowership, customers would start experiencing intermittent supply of electricity in the Western Area while work is ongoing to stabilize Karpowership’s operation and return to normal generation trend.” As to when and how the current electricity challenges posed by the Karpowership would be addressed is a matter of let’s wait and see.”

Other key sectors that have not been transformed are the agriculture and water supply sectors, which are treated with lip-services by the Bio-led administration. People living in Freetown are of the view that government officials managing the sector lack the required skills to transform the sector.

A report published by “Researchgate” stated that “providing safe and adequate drinking water to the masses in the famous harbor city of Freetown in Sierra Leone is a big challenge. The city has problems such as the Institutional framework and its capabilities, social issues like affordability, perception, social inclusion, and other managerial issues. Besides these, it has technical issues like water conservation, leak detection, and water quality monitoring and modeling. It is feared that with the rise in population, water demand will increase manifold that will aggravate the problem in near future.”

The World Food Programme of the United Nations in June 2021 stated in its report that “Today over 4.7 million people are food insecure of which over 900,000 are severely food insecure and over 3,700,000 are moderately food insecure. More than half a million people have been added to the count of food insecure people over the last five years. Over 3.3 million people are food insecure in rural areas compared to 1.4 million people in urban areas.”

Whether the country’s agriculture sector is been cursed or its leadership lacks the required skills to transform the sector is something Sierra Leoneans are pondering over.

President Julius Maada Bio in his address in the Chamber of Parliament to mark the state opening of parliament in 2021, remarked that “$54 million investment in rice cultivation in the Rhombe swamps by AgroElite LLC, and an additional $30 Million secured from the EXIM Bank to develop the water management and irrigation infrastructure to support rice cultivation around Torma Bum, are already underway.”

According to Standard Times Newspaper, as general elections are slated for next year, 2023, Sierra Leoneans are patiently waiting to judge President Bio when his tenure in office expires next year, as he (President Bio) had said the people should not judge him at the beginning of his rule but at the end of his tenure.