By: Dusuba Koroma
The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Tamba Lamina, has on Friday, 10th October, 2019, said that his ministry would review the Local Government Act of 2014 and the Decentralization Policy of 2010 on 15th of October 2019 at the Miatta Conference Hall Youyi Building.
The reviewing of the Act he said has been overdue and that many were anticipating to see it come to light. He said as part of the ministry’s mandate, the reviewing process would help gear toward coordination and also provide oversight for local governance and formulate policies in the ministry.
He said as part of President’s Bio campaign message to the people of Sierra Leone, which was to strengthen the governance sector, the reviewing process would help fulfil that particular mandate of strengthening local governance in reviewing the structures to make them more efficient and as effective as possible especially for the beneficiaries at the rural areas.
The launch of the reviewing process he said entails consultation with the citizens and trying to find out what the people really want in terms of local governance. “It is the people ask and we want the people to own the process of deep level consultation so that the information and the act that we would have will particularly speak to what the people want” he revealed.
“Though few more councils have been added, and in terms of the structure and capacity, there has always been an issue as far as local councils are concern and there are plan to address them nationwide” he explained
On the issue of restructuring, the Minister said that it’s something that is being practiced everywhere in the world and for Sierra Leone local government, it has proceeded the policy of decentralization and in most cases, he said it is one that follows the other. “Policy comes in front and then the act. The policy drives what goes into Act” he said.
However, he said that it was the other way round for Sierra Leone. There hasn’t been an alignment in terms of what the policy actually states and what is in the act.
In his conclusion, he said there are conflicting structures to look at and also instrument that has to do with chieftaincy act, education act, hospital act, tourist board act etc. Most of these instruments he said were completed in isolation and with the local government act especially devour sector, it is of importance that the Act be revisited.
As per the launching, he explained that the ministry has hired consultants in order to consult with local councils in assessing capacity building in both hard and software in all local councils to ensure that local government succeeds.