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COMMENTS & OPINIONS  

Two Ministers in One Ministry
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Jan 13, 2011, 17:00
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It is now apparent that the All People’s Congress (APC) government will continue to shock the citizenry with inimical decisions and actions in the running of the affairs of the state.

The government has become notorious for either appointing square pegs in round holes or creating offices which serve very little or no importance to the people.

The appointment of a Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, while there is a substantive Minister, Zainab Hawa Bangura, and her Deputy, Borbor Sawyer, lives much to be desired.

Political observers viewed such move by the government as inimical to national development, since it is tantamount to creating confusion and reversing gains made so far in that ministry.

In all this, the APC government continues to keep sealed lips on the issue. Several efforts by the press and ordinary citizens to seek clarification on the issue have proven futile. People are still wondering what specific role the Minister of State should play when there is a substantive minister and a deputy. Even workers at the ministry are confused over who is actually in charge of affairs. The public including the workers in the ministry would like government to outline the relevance of a Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.

As far as my view is concern, the office of the Minister of State serves no useful purpose and relevance. State/official functions are normally attended by the substantive minister or his deputy. Administrative procedures require the minister to relate directly with his deputy, thus sidelining the minister of state. 

People initially thought that the creation of the office of the minister of state in the health and sanitation ministry was to create room for efficiency and effectiveness in the operations of that all-important ministry.

However, this has proven otherwise. Instead of enhancing productivity in the ministry, we are now experiencing duplication of functions and perhaps personality conflict between the minister and the minister of state. The government should think of reviewing such appointment or come out with clarification on the role of the minister of state and the relationship between him, the minister and the deputy minister.  

It’s high time the government starts explaining or making adjustments where necessary. The government could have saved itself from such controversy by simply separating the health and sanitation ministry. In the aforementioned circumstance, Zainab Bangura could have become the Minister of Health, whilst Mohamed D Koroma could have served as Minister of Sanitation, or vice versa.

Another scenario is Mohamed D. Koroma maintained the position of Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation one (1) whilst Borbor Sawyer could have come in as Deputy Minister two (2).

As it stands now, Mohamed D. Koroma is neither a deputy minister nor a substantive minister. But if the pronouncement of the Minister of Information and Communication, Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, who emphasized during the announcement of the December 2010 cabinet reshuffle that Mohamed D. Koroma has been ELEVATED to the position of minister of state, is anything to go by, then it is safe to say the Health and Sanitation Ministry has two ministers. 


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