The United States Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Ambassador John F. Hoover, on Wednesday 15th July 2015 paid a courtesy call on the Chairman and Commissioner of the National Commission for Privatisation (NCP), Dr. Michael S. Kargbo at his Tower Hill office in Freetown. The visit by the US Ambassador was to familiarise himself with the activities of the Commission.
Welcoming the US Ambassador, Dr. Michael Kargbo said he was elated by his visit to the Commission. He said the Commission was created in 2002 by an Act of Parliament and charged with the responsibility of reforming and privatizing Public Enterprises listed in the First Schedule of the NCP Act. Also, Dr. Kargbo informed AmbassadorHoover that the Commission acts as the prudent shareholder on behalf of the government of Sierra Leone.
|Left: US Ambassador John F. Hoover; Right: NCP Chairman, Dr. Michael S. Kargbo
The NCP Chairmanalluded to some privatisation activities the Commission has undertaken since he took over as Chairman of the Commission. Theseinclude concessioning of the Marine Slipway and Ship repair facility, the granting of a second license to operate the Bulk and Break-Bulk Cargo services; grating of license to operate the Cargo Tracking Note in compliance with the International Shipping and Ports Security (ISPS) Code that was instituted by the United States, and recapitalisation of the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank and the Rokel Commercial Bank to stabilise the financial system.
He furthered that the role of the Commission is not only limited to selling off government assets to private investors, but that it also involves reforming and restructuring non performing Public Enterprises so as to instill fiscal discipline, efficient public service delivery and ensure good corporate governance within the parastatals. According to the Chairman, there are strategic government Parastatals that cannot be sold in their entirety; hence the need for the Commission to reform and restructure some of them.
Highlighting some of the constraints the Commission is facing, the NCP Chairman said the work of the Commission is being impeded bynumerous challenges ranging from capacity building to logistical support.
In his concluding remarks, the NCP Chairman said that Sierra Leone has a lot to offer in terms of investment opportunities and he appealed to the US government to encourage American Companiesto invest in Sierra Leone.
Prior to the Chairman’s statement,one of the Commission’s Senior Financial Analysts, Mr. A.R. Tejan-Jalloh, made a comprehensive power point presentation highlighting some of the above.
In his response, Ambassador John Hoover thanked the NCP Chairman for his hospitality and said he is open to ideas and suggestions as to how the United States could contribute to the Privatisation process.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.