Jendema, Sierra Leone-Liberia border. Saturday, February 21. 2021
The President of Sierra Leone, Dr Julius Maada Bio has paid a well-received visit to the border town of Jendema after stopping at several places en route.
This visit which has been described as a Working Visit is one to be long remembered by the people of Jendema and Sorogbema as a whole.
President Julius Maada Bio in his thank you message to a mammoth crowd gathered to receive him, stated that Jendema has always been a strong base for the SLPP, not forgetting to mention the commendable role played by the SLPP Liberia Chapter to whom the president expressed equal gratitude.
Cataloguing the many gains since his assuming office in 2018, President Bio spoke about the Free Quality Education program under the New Direction government which he promised to expand and improve upon for the benefit of the children and the nation at large.
“Education is the main key to the success of any nation”, President Bio told the exuberant crowd, emphasising that “educating children is the best any country can do to strengthen their future”.
The president revealed that 2.5 million children are currently benefitting from Free Quality Education (FQE). “In Pujehun district, statistics show that 80 thousand students are presently attending school. That number stood at 55 thousand before the introduction of the FQE”, the president noted. He said that the government was also providing learning materials as well as, increasingly, food items for the students. He also reminded his audience that all public exams are now free, paid for by the government.
His Excellency also encouraged parents to invest in their girls by giving them the privilege to go to school. He expressed great satisfaction in noting that in both NPSE and BECE, the girls were not only equaling the boys but were now beginning to lead.
In a direct appeal, the president encouraged the students to remain focused and he cautioned the men to stay off the young girls and allow them to study, pointing out the penalty that is occasioned by rape.
In a bid to improve the lives of his citizens, President Bio spoke about the 100 billion Leones that have been set aside for microfinance. He also stated that Pujehun District was on the list of beneficiaries from the NACSA support program.
President Bio went on to throw some light on the plans to boost the Agricultural sector, stating that it was time for the country to produce its food and therefore the Agriculture Minister is working with all farmers by giving them seeds and also providing machines for agricultural purposes. An adequate number of youths are being trained to work on these Agro-implements.
As Jendema is the main border crossing to Liberia, President Bio spoke on the plans to build an International Market at the border. He also promised to build a health centre, provide light and water for the people of Jendema, Sorogbema district.
President Bio explained to the people how Sierra Leone has been deservingly placed in the good books of the International community. The president cited the example of the recognition of the government’s hard work by stating that in about three years under the New Direction Government, Sierra Leone has been awarded a very favourable position by the MCC with a potential for the country to receive millions of dollars in donation.
In his concluding statement, he promised the people of Jendema that he will engage his counterpart, His Excellency President George Weah on the reopening of the border.
In his contribution, the Speaker of Ecowas Parliament Hon. Sidie Mohamed Tunis who hails from Pujehun District also thanked the people of Jendema and the SLPP Liberia Chapter for their unflinching support and their staunch loyalty to the government. He promised to continue working in the interest of the Government and the people of Pujehun District and invited the people to continue to work in close unity.
Earlier, the Sierra Leone Ambassador to Liberia, His Excellency Eddie S. Massally, heartily welcomed the President and stated few challenges the people of Sorogbema Chiefdom were facing, including the need for public health centers, electricity and the desire to see the official reopening of the Jendema- Bo waterside border.
Mamawa Sombo Richards
Sierra Leone Embassy in Liberia