From the Press release, the Chief Minister’s Office has the oversight responsibility to the Government Timber Agency, through his demand for accountable and transparent leadership for our timber agency. With his leadership, the timber industry has raised over twenty million united state dollars in just nine months.
This is the first in the history of Sierra Leone and this is just record breaking.
This shows that, with competent leadership and demand for accountability demonstrated by the Chief Minister, the country can actually benefit from its natural resources. No wonder the social media is praising the Chief Minister and the government for this remarkable success in domestic revenue mobilization.
On social media, people cannot believe that in Sierra Leone today in just nine months, the government can raised twenty million, seven hundred and fifty five thousand, three hundred and fifty United States dollars ($20,755,350.00), just from timber export.
“We all know that under the APC government, in nine months they would have embezzled over 95% of the export revenue and share the money among them to enrich themselves at the expense of the masses”, a local timber dealer said.
Another added: “Bravo to the Chief Minister for his endeavor in making sure that the country benefit from its natural resources. Bravo to His Excellency, President Julius Maada Bio and his New Direction government. But I am not surprise, because President Bio committed all through his campaign that he will provide ‘‘Efficient Political Management of the State and our Natural Resources. That is what he said and that is what he is delivering on. ‘‘TOK N DO’’ $20 million timber export in just nine (9) months.”
The press release from the Office of the Chief Minister also states that the government wants to invest in sustainable management of Sierra Leone’s timber resources with a particular focus on reforestation and afforestation.
The following measures will now be put in place to support the sustainable utilization and management of our timber resources:
1. Cabinet has endorsed the establishment of a new National Timber Governance Agency, expected to be operational in the coming months.
2. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is leading on the development of a comprehensive Policy Framework to regulate our timber resources with a particular focus on reforestation and afforestation.
3. The new National Timber Governance Agency and the Policy Framework will form the basis for a Parliamentary legislation to enact the Timber Governance Agency.
4. During this transition period, May – October 2019, the Government will implement the reforestation and afforestation programme led by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
5. In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will lead on the establishment of a National Reforestation Secretariat headed by a National Afforestation Coordinator.
6. In consultation with the Office of the Vice President, the Ministry of Trade and Industry will develop a plan for Timber Processing Plants to be established and operational across the country.
7. The new Timber Governance Agency, when enacted by Parliament, will have a Timber Governance Agency Board of Directors that will be responsible for the granting of licenses for logging and export of Timber.