The Parliament of Sierra Leone has on Tuesday 05th November 2019 debated and committed the Bill entitled “The National Commission for Social Action Act 2019” to a joint-committee including Legislative and NACSA for fine tuning and further scrutiny before passage into law.
Piloting the Bill, the Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Francis Kaikai traced the creation of NACSA for the delivery of social services as a development agency for the alleviation of poverty; and the need to make it a permanent institution for development in perpetuity; noting the construction of schools, markets, hospitals and court barrays by NACSA.
Contributing to the debate, Hon. Lahai Marah of APC inquired whether the Bill is a new one or an amendment to the NACSA Act of 2015; having regards for its creation in 1996 and its subsequent amendments dating 1998 to 2015.
Hon. Dr. Roland Kargbo of APC supported the Bill aimed at making NACSA a permanent institution for development; instead of renewing its mandate after every ten years. He also acclaimed NACSA for creating a niche for its existence; especially in the delivery of relief services such as the safety net to vulnerable groups.
Hon. Bashiru Silikie of SLPP decried the proposed composition of the Board, adding that NACSA should be under the Office of the President and not the Vice-President, who is constitutionally the principal assistant to the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone. He also observed that the audited report of NACSA should be presented to Parliament for scrutiny; whilst calling for the committal of the Bill.
Hon. Hindolo M. Gevao of SLPP spoke on the need for Parliament to do a proper vetting on the Bill to serve her conscience; whilst decrying the immune powers of the Board. He also emphasized the need for effective oversight on the activities of the executive to take development to their constituencies.
The Acting Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo before speaking about committal of the Bill; he recognized the role NACSA had played in the rural development trajectories of the country such as the construction of schools, hospitals and roads. Speaking on the need for the payment of reparation; he referred to NACSA as a relief agency that is geared towards poverty reduction in Sierra Leone.
In concluding the debate, the Leader of Government Business, Hon. Sidie M. Tunis made few clarifications that the Bill is geared towards repeal and replacement of the current one as amended; that at the moment NACSA is currently placed under the Office of the Vice-President; before supporting the committal of the Bill to a joint-committee including Legislative and NACSA for proper scrutiny. He also deposed that the Bill is in the best interest of the country and it is aimed at poverty reduction in Sierra Leone.
In another development, the Parliament of Sierra Leone has on Tuesday 05th November 2019 debated and approved with unanimity an excerpt of the Seventh Report of its Committee on Appointments and the Public Service; chaired by Hon. Sidie M. Tunis.
The following presidential nominee was approved by Parliament:
- Mr. Sheikh Dyphan Abass Massaquoi-Member, Board of Directors, Sierra Leone Maritime Administration.