The Parliament of Sierra Leone has on Wednesday 16 August 2023 continued debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President, Dr.Julius Maada Bio address he so graciously delivered on the Occasion of the State Opening of the First Session of the Sixth Parliament of the Second Republic of Sierra Leone in the Chamber of Parliament on Thursday 3rd August 2023.

In her submission to the debate, Hon. Alice Jebbeh Kumabeh from Bonthe District commended the President for his speech delivered in the Chamber of Parliament and referred to the speech as accurate to the point. The Honourable Member submitted her debate on the Big Five Changers of the Government priorities, relative to the Feed Salone project, health and other related sectors. On the hospital project in Mattru Jong in Bonthe District, the Honourable Member called on the Ministry of Health to pay more attention to the infrastructural development of the Hospital and other facilities. The MP decried the work of the contractor on the hospital facilities. She spoke on the need for the completion of the road linking Bo and Mattru Jong. On agriculture-related issues, she called on the Agriculture
Ministry to lay more focus on feeding the people of Sierra Leone.

Hon. Alpha F.M Jabbie from Falaba District thanked the President and his Vice President for their re-election to governance. He said a lot of achievements have been made by the Government of President Bio on the development of the nation. The MP spoke well on the achievements of the free quality education, relative to teachers recruitment, the establishment of universities, and the provision of school learning materials. He expressed disappointment over the scarcity of certain food items saying that it was very embarrassing for politicians to go to the market to ask for the price of onion and pepper when they can grow enough food for the people of Sierra Leone.

The MP reiterated the point that Sierra Leone has what it takes to produce agricultural products for the nation. “I believe the Feed Salone Initiative by the President would yield dividend,” he concluded.

Hon. Mariama Munia Zombo from Pujehun District applauded the President for the developmental stride of the nation. On youths employment, she said youth employment scheme should consider gender equality and gender mainstreaming for employment. Referencing on the President’s Speech on youth employment, she acknowledged the improvement in the music and film industry. On infrastructural development, she said the demand for solar for rural power is necessary for the development of the rural poor and urged the Government to do the needful. Renewable energy, she said will boost energy and develop the nation through the linking of the Private Sector. On women’s participation, she said the Government of President Bio is committed to supporting women’s empowerment.

On his part, Hon. Ibrahim Kabba from Western Area Rural predicted his debate on the Big Five Initiatives of the Government. On the Feed Salone Initiative, he said in achieving the project, it will help the country reduce dependency on the importation of food into the country. He said the country has the necessary mechanisms to achieve the Feed Salone project and underscored the vast agricultural land in the country. He called on the Fisheries Industry to protect the fishing sector to feed Sierra Leone.

Hon. Edward George from Moyamba District appreciated the President for appointing young people to his Cabinet and underscored the importance of the President’s Speech towards the development of the country. On the Feed Salone Initiative, the MP questioned the work of the Ministry of Agriculture in actualizing the dream of the President. He said a lot of resources had been spent on the Agricultural Sector and pleaded for concerted efforts to help the President actualize his goal and dreams. On youth affairs, the MP said no politician would support any youth in taking drugs, “We will join the Youth Minister in addressing the Kush issues”, he concluded.

Hon. Ambrose Maada Lebby from Bo District said in actualizing the dreams of the President on food self-sufficiency, the feeder roads have to be constructed and went on to call on the Sierra Leone Roads Authority to do the needful in helping farmers in transporting their produce to the markets.

On human capital development, the MP said it is key for the development of the nation and went on to underscore the achievement in the education sector.

Hon. Yusuf Mackery from Bo District echoed the President’s Speech so graciously delivered in the Chamber of Parliament. He praised the President on the free quality education initiative. He maintained that the visionary part of the President is the establishment of the Big Five Initiative.

Hon. Alex Rogers from Pujehun District advised Chairpersons of Committees to be vigilant in carrying out their parliamentary functions to monitor MDAs. On the Security Sector, he said maximum security creates economic growth and productivity.

Hon. Bintu Fatmata Bockarie from Bonthe District said the President has done a lot for the development of the nation. The MP praised the President on the achievement in the Education Sector and called on the Ministry of Works to rehabilitate the roads within Bonthe District. On youths employment and human capital development, she called on colleagues MPs to support the President’s Agenda.

On his part, Hon. Foyoh Tholley from Tonkolili District said the Feed Salone initiative has been in existence, but further stated that much has not been done in monitoring the agricultural areas. The MP said in achieving bumper agricultural harvest, good roads have to be linked within districts.

Speaking on the Education Sector, he called for more senior secondary schools to be established in rural areas.

Hon. Capt. Rtd. Sylvester A.M Bioma from Moyamba District, said the speech laid the foundational truth for the development of the nation.

He zoomed in on Feed Salone Initiative and went on to say that agriculture is the bedrock for the development of the nation and went on to note that for the Feed Salone Initiative, everyone should come on board. He made reference to the agricultural report and stated that Sierra Leone is far behind in agricultural productivity and urged the Agriculture Ministry to collaborate with Njala University, SLARI, and other agriculture sectors to promote productivity. He also said that data collection is very important in the achievement of agricultural productivity. He pleaded with the Agriculture Ministry to create several units that seek to address agricultural implementation on the Feed Salone Initiatives by the President.

Hon. Abu Kemokai from Pujehun District said human capital development is very important for the development of the nation and informed that to consolidate the gains, more efforts need to be done. The MP said certain parts of Pujehun District are riverine communities and pupils living aways from the schools are affected. He urged for more schools to be established.

He explained that the Feed Salone Initiative has many components and they must be protected and supported. “Let us all go out on active farming and support the President on his agenda on food self-efficiency.”

Credit: Parliamentary and Public Relations Department, Parliament of Sierra Leone