Six presidential nominees to serve as deputy ministers and one to serve as an ambassador to the European Union were on Friday interviewed by the Appointments and Public Service Commission Committee.
Facing interview at Committee Room No1, the nominee accredited as Sierra Leone’s ambassador to the European Union, Dr Christian Siaka Kargbo was first to face the committee.
Hon Dr Brima Kamanda of the main opposition, Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), identified from the documents sent by the nominee that he had no bank account.
Dr Kamanda said he was worried considering the position he held as Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone in 1997-1998 under the AFRC regime, and also as an economist with good working experience but did not have an account.
The nominee replied, “I am very sure I do not have a bank account as of now”.
He then reminded him of his statement that when he was Bank Governor he said he was able to control inflation and monitoring supply and then asked him how he could explain when during his tenure at the bank, the exchange rate dropped from Le 700 to a dollar to Le 3,000 and when the rate of inflation almost quadrupled.
Hon Cecil Osho Williams interrupted that the question was unfair to the nominee, but Dr Kargbo answered that he was not in the position to ascertain the reasons for the inflation, stating that he used his expertise to control inflation and maintained the money supply ratio he met when he took up office.
On what he would be doing as the country’s ambassador to the EU, Dr Kargbo said, “I will be representing the country in the EU and the African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) in an attempt or in a full capacity to solicit funds, lobby and to make sure our economic situation is alleviated through the experience I acquired through the years.”
The nominee to serve as proposed deputy minister for Finance and Economic Development, Dr Richard Conteh, said the ministry was a blended one that allowed for complementality and coordination.
He said with his experience as a development specialist on financial issues, he would handle the job.
Meanwhile, it is very rare for a nominee to face the Appointments and Public Service Commission Committee without being asked a single question. But the proposed Resident Minister East, William J. Smith, became one who rather than being questioned was faced with felicitations from the committee.
First it was Hon Dr Brima Kamanda of the SLPP who said the nominee was unquestionable as he was friendly to everybody. “The people of Kenema are ready to receive you and all of us will be there,” he told him.
The minority leader, Hon Momoh Pujeh also of the SLPP spoke of him thus: “he is resilience, loyal, and dedication to his own personal cause. He does not believe in political prostitution. I commend you for being loyal to your party notwithstanding trials and tribulations”.
The nominees for the positions of deputy ministers, mineral resources, transport and aviation, information and broadcasting, and tourism and culture Abdul Ignosi Koroma, Cpt Momodu Allieu Sow, Mohamed Daudis Koroma and Hassan Mansaray (PMDC) were also interviewed.