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In Kailahun: Minister urges residents to own National Development Plan

The Ministry of Planning and Economic Development has concluded its decentralized ownership of the Medium Term National Development Plan process in the Kailahun district.

During the engagement at the District Council Hall, the minister, Dr. Francis Kaikai, urged the people of Kailahun to take ownership of the plan as their working document.

He emphasized that the plan has nothing to do with politics as its implementation lies squarely on the shoulders of all Sierra Leoneans and the government.

According to him, the plan was put together in consultation with the people which enabled the ministry to have a rich document.

He disclosed that the implementation process has already started along with the consultation process in order to avoid delay and added that it is the role of government officials to talk to their people about the activities of government and how far they have gone in ensuring that they cater for everyone across the country.

“The state should not be far from the people and should always come back and talk to them about development. Planning as a continuous process and it is done with care with the people owning the process by actively involved in it,” he said.

He described development plan as very important and must be prioritized because development partners and donor agencies use it as a roadmap for development in the country.

Minister Kaikai urged everyone to monitor the plan, noting that it is the responsibility of stakeholders to always ensure that it is implemented to the letter.

Earlier, giving an overview of the engagement, Deputy Minister of Planning, Dr. Robert Chakanda, stated that they decided to hold stakeholders consultations in chiefdoms and district headquarter towns for people to make their inputs with regards what should be in the plan in terms of their felt needs.

“The government cannot implement all the issues raised in Kailahun but will work hard to implement the immediate needs of the people,"' he said.

Paramount Chief Mohamed Sama Kailondo Banya expressed thanks and appreciation to the ministry for taking the plan back to them for their inputs.

He acknowledge the development strides being undertaken by government in transforming the district and expressed optimism that things will change for the better under the New Direction administration.

He assured of the cooperation and support of his colleague Paramount Chiefs towards the successful implementation of projects in the district.

On her part, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Mamadi Gobeh-Kamara, underscored the importance of information and communication to the Medium-Term Development Plan.

According to her, the success of the plan is highly dependent on how effective they are able to provide for communities with the necessary infrastructure/facilities to increase their space and inclusion in the general financial and economic transaction to maximize their livelihood and welfare.

She said her ministry is looking forward to see the priorities of Kailahun district that are ICT (Information, Communications and Technology) related for the next 2 to 3 years.

She assured that they certainly would support the district as they would engage the necessary MDAs at central level to see the priorities through.

The Deputy Minister catalogued some of the programs her ministry has undertaken over the past two years including numerous engagements with mobile phone companies to increase network penetration, improving decentralized ownership of the Medium-Term National Development Plan and repeal of the Criminal and Seditious Libel provisions in the 1965 Public Order Act.

Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Dr. David Moinina Sengeh, stated that education is linked to every facet of development in the country and as such, it should be given the utmost priority needed.

He said they now have data for almost all what they are doing in the ministry because of technology and proper planning.

“To achieve quality is not a day's job but a process that can be successful within a period of time. My ministry has succeeded in taking education to the four corners of the country,” he said and disclosed that teachers have been trained across the country skills relating to providing quality education for children in schools.

He noted that the Medium-Term National Development Plan will enable his ministry to have a feel of what the people want and what their priorities are.

He commended the leadership of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development for giving them the opportunity to explain to the people of Kailahun the strides government has undertaken to ensure quality education is achieved.

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