Chief Minister Mr. Jacob Jusu Saffa who is the outgone Minister of Finance has officially handed over the Ministry to his successor Dennis Vandi on Wednesday 12th May 2021, at the Ministry of Finance Conference Hall in Freetown.
In his statement, the outgone Finance Minister Mr. J.J. Saffa describes the occasion as a ceremony with mixed feelings. He stated that it’s difficult for him to say goodbye but also proud of the progress made in the last three years that resulted in the Ministry of Finance winning the best performing ministry of the year award.
He said despite leaving the ministry, he will continue to provide support in his new capacity, adding that he will ensure that he makes that easier for them especially with regards to reaching international benchmarks and engagement with other Ministries, Departments, and Agencies on budgetary support trigger.
“Mr. Minister, I can assure you that you have a strong team, and this is the strongest team in the public sector. I inherited a system where there was no laydown organogram and where half of the technical staff were contract staff. I have been able to do some structural change to regularize that,” he said.
The new Minister of Finance Dennis Vandi in his statement said the caliber of staff in the Ministry is not a surprise to him. “He is the Chief Minister, but he hasn’t gone 100%, he is still with me. There are a lot of issues in which we will have to hang heads together to pursue,” says Minister Vandi.
He said he is pleased with the programs his predecessor has been supervising over the years and that as one of the authors of the New Direction Manifesto; Mr. J.J. Saffa has been able to touch on all programs and policies that the manifesto promised.
The Minister promised to continue with the programs in the ministry’s strategic plan, new direction manifesto, and the mid-term national development plan until such a time when the president gives directives on further vision as to how he wants his government to be financed.
“I think my predecessor will be a better Chief Minister because of his knowledge on the operations of other Ministries Departments and Agencies; he can understand their constraints and have a clear knowledge about their strategic plans and how they intend to implement those plans,” he said.
He vouched to be working to offices to see how work will be carryout and encouraged staff to feel free to discuss with him, noting that there will be a better working relationship with him than his predecessor. “My predecessor is a politician and you cannot take that away from him, I am not too much of a political animal, he jokingly said.
The Financial Secretary Mr. Sahr Jusu said that the Minister of Finance is not new to the ministry of Finance because he has previously worked in various capacities in the Ministry. He said that over the past three years the Ministry has done countless reforms and they hope to continue with these reforms.
Sahr Lahai Jusu thank the outgone Minister of Finance now Chief Minister for the leadership and vision he has provided during his tenure as Minister of Finance.
Other senior management staff and deputy ministers 1 and 2 of finance welcome the new minister and provided a brief update on the programs and policies of the ministry and the country’s economy.