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Agriculture Ministry in trouble … No pay for Forest Guards

By Abu Bakarr Kargbo

Dr. Sam Sesay…addressing Forest Guards in Kenema
sitting on a time bomb as it is currently in tussle with senior officials and the outgoing Minister on a one hand and Forest Guards demanding their salaries and other entitlements promised by Dr. Joseph Sam Sesay on the other.
Hundreds of Forest Guards were employed by the Ministry to look after protected forest reserve areas, during which they were promised monthly salaries and other logistical support.
Reports reaching this press state that the Ministry has done nothing to meet its financial commitment to the Forest Guards for about eight months, which has led to the poor men and women employed to provide maximum security in protected forest areas finding it extremely difficult to do the job. Their cry is coming at a time when the man they have an agreement with (Dr. Joseph Sam Sesay) is leaving the Ministry to take up a new assignment as Presidential Adviser at State House. “We are calling on the new Minister to take this as his first assignment. We are not happy to work under rain and sun without a single cent in our pockets,” they told this press.
However, officials of the Ministry jubilated when they received news on Monday 28th December 2015 that Dr. Sam Sesay has been sent to State House as Adviser whilst Dr. Monty Jones takes over his position as Minister of Agriculture. Senior Ministry officials are now raising questions as to why the Minister is yet to leave the Ministry as they are preparing to welcome the new Minister Dr. Monty Jones, who faced the Parliamentary Committee on Appointments and Public Service on Monday.
The Agriculture Ministry is currently having two Deputy Ministers, Hon. Marie Jalloh and Mr. Lovell Thomas. They have not enjoyed their positions under the outgoing Minister, who packed out on the day the announcement was made.
Report further states that Dr. Sam Sesay, though in the good books of some Ministry staff, his leadership style has not gone down well with Senior Directors. A Senior Director, who wants to be anonymous, told this press that they are expecting the Minister to report to the Chief of Staff at State House for his new dispensation. “What is still keeping him in this Ministry is something that the President should look into,” sources quipped.
Report states that in spite of the fact that his is now an Adviser to the President, Dr. Sam Sesay is currently out of the country attending a Private Sector Conference in the United States of America as Minister of Agriculture. This has not gone down well with the two Deputy Ministers and other Ministry officials who saw this move as unfair to the Ministry.
It was at an awards ceremony organized by Tumac Radio over the weekend Dr. Sam Sesay informed his audience that he considers his new position as a promotion. He promised to work hard in his new dispensation. The question that remains unanswered is as to why he is yet to report at State House for duty. Investigations continue.

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