The conference room of the Ministry of Social welfare at New England-Ville in Freetown was on Thursday 22nd July 2021 filled with optimism as the Chief Minister Jacob Jusu Saffa interfaces with senior Management staff of the National Commission for Persons with Disability (NCPD), Ministry of Social Welfare (MOS) and National Children’s Commission (NCC).
Welcoming the Chief Minister, the Minister of Social Welfare Mrs. Bendu Dassama-Kamara said that as a ministry, they appreciate the Chief Minister’s efforts in coordinating Ministries, Department, and Agencies (MDAs) in ensuring that issues relating to presidential pronouncements and policies are effectively coordinated.
She, however, maintained that government should pay more attention to her ministry because MOS is the mother of all ministries “ the MOS, handles unlimited social welfare issues of every Citizen and non-citizens; which means that more attention must be given to us” she urged.
In his presentation, Chief Minister Jacob Jusu Saffa laid out the functions of his office, which he said was to ensure that all key deliverables of the government are adhered to; adding that his office also intervenes in challenging issues encountered by Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), and solutions are being proffered.
Highlighting the roles of his office, the Chief Minister reiterated that his office facilitates, coordinates, and follows up on all MDAs on presidential deliveries.
Jacob Jusu Saffa revealed to management staff that his office will soon commence digitization of all government policies and a matrix will be developed to gauge the progress of all MDA’s, “We will use this system to enhance performance and efficiency delivery in all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies” he accentuated.
He emphasized the government’s commitment to ensuring that disability issues are being addressed.
He firmly stated that disability issues are a key priority in the government’s agenda “Government is trying hard to get disabled out of the street, I charge the ministry and the Commission to immediately work on a strategy to get PWD’s off the streets of urban areas by 2023” he stressed.
In his presentation, NCPD’s Executive Secretary Saa Kortequee expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Chairman and the Board of the Commission; noting that this is the first time disability issue is being included in the government’s blueprint which is the Mid Term Development Plan “cluster 5.3 exclusively talked about persons with disabilities and that is a step in the right direction” he stated.
He said the strife of government to mainstream disability issues is laudable.
Saa Kortequee explained that the Commission undertook an Accessibility Audit of key government offices to ensure that there’s a barrier-free environment for PWDs as enshrined in the 2011 PWD Act.
Other presentations were done by the Ministry of Social Welfare and National Children’s Commission whilst the vote of thanks was rendered by NCPD Western Area Regional Coordinator, Jonathan Conteh.
Mawusie P.I. Dumbuya
Head of Communications
National Commission for Persons with Disability