The Commissioner and team visited some government properties within Bo city including; Airfield, Government Reservation, Presidential lodge, Clerks quarters, Railway quarters etc. According to the Chairman most of the government structures are not properly handled by occupants whilst some are occupied by squatters. He further revealed that many illegal structures have been erected within the airfield, government reservations etc.
In a determined statement the Chairman expressed “As legitimate custodian, reference to the Act of the Commission, I am determined to retrieve all national assets and government properties, protect them from illegal sale and ensure they are effectively used as one of the main sources to raise revenue for the sustainability of government”
By statutory provision, the National Assets and Government’s Property Commission was established by an Act of Parliament in 1990 under the leadership of late President Joseph Saidu Momoh but since then little or nothing was known about the mandate and responsibilities of the commission including revenue generation and data management to account for every single asset or government`s property.
The abysmal circumstances around the Asset Commission under the former chairmen including Ambassador Fofana, Late AlhajiAlim Sesay (Awoko)etc are that these chairmen never developed a Master Register that would have detail information of all national assets and government properties and unfortunately there are physical records to ascertain huge state funds withdrawn from the commission`s account, authorized by the past administration for the development of a Master Register. The former chairmen were only very active and interested in kick-backs on cumulated demurrage goods at the Queen Elizabeth II Quay for auction.
This could definitely be one of the major factors responsible for all Jack and Jim either occupying, looting or selling national assets and government properties because former officials of the commission were not interested in retrieving and protecting assets but busy running after auctioning of demurrage goods at Water quay. The less protective care as National asset and government`s property custodian is responsible for the sale of the over twenty government quarters by senior Government functionaries in the Ministry of Works. The unfortunate part of the story that worth bringing to the ears of the reading populace is that most of the government properties that could have been kept as capital for the State were sold by these thoughtless and unpatriotic citizens of Sierra Leone next to nothing and these properties are not to be sold but to be improved upon as use for resource mobilization.
Imagine, if the illegal sale of some of these properties was brought to the notice of the public, even cart (Omolankay) pusher or Coconut jelly seller would have bought one or two. It will also interest the reading populace and generation yet unborn to further know that the nations properties were sold by Ministry of Works senior officers and bought by Senior government operatives in the past APC led government including legally minded people who are highly expected to have put a halt to it but unfortunately they could not as a result of personal and selfish interest.
Additionally, in order to be brutal with the truth it will be recalled that the National Asset and Government`s Property Commission before March 2018 was moribund and all people knows about the Commission was nothing less than auction, full stop!
However, at least after the 18th June 2018, for the first time in history of the Commission to have a foresighted Chairman with national interest. In less than 50 days the commission has developed a digital template for the Master Register, engaging legal occupants of government properties to regularize their documents and illegal occupants strictly warned in their own interest to vacate all government properties immediately.“My team is ready to resurrect the status of the Commission from carpet level to an appreciable status that would reflect the expectation of the people of Sierra Leone within the confines of the Commission`s Act of 1990”.
Considering the statutory mandated given to the Commission including and not limited to; (1) Receive and consider any information or proposal for identifying or improving any national asset or Government’s property; (2) Receive and consider any information on the misuse, abuse or disposal of Government’s property without lawful authority; (3) Undertake the examination from time to time of national assets and Government’s property and make recommendations to the President for their improvement or security. (4) In consultation with the Attorney – General and Minister of Justice and the Police, take any appropriate action to stop, check or recover any national asset or Government’s property being willfully or maliciously misused, abused or misappropriated etc the Chairman vehemently revealed “Reference to the mandate and responsibilities enshrined in the Act of the Commission, I am prepared with my team coupled with the axillary support from the office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice and the Inspector General of Police to identify, protect national assets and government properties, establish a digitalized Master Register and willobjectively mobilize revenue for the use of any Government`s Property.
Explaining about strengthening knowledge and understanding of the public about the Commission, the Executive Secretary, Mr Frank Lawson revealed confidently, “With the exuberant effort and innovation of the new chairman we are very hopeful this time round to bring information about the Commission to the door step of the people though community engagement including and not limited to radio/television discussions and jingle, community meetings and drama, posters, hand bills etc. This will contribute to mitigate the illegal occupation, misappropriation and illegal disposal of national assets and government`s property”.