The Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Authority formerly Radiation Protection Board, of the Ministry of Energy on Friday commissioned and handed over four brand new motorbikes to ensure that their presence is felt everywhere in the country.
These four motorbikes will be used by four senior and trained Scientists of the Authority that were promoted to Managers to effectively perform their duties in the Western Area, North, South and Eastern regions.
According to the Executive Secretary of the Authority, Josephus JibaoKongo “the presence of the Authority should be felt everywhere not only in Freetown, but in the provincial areas where mining and X-ray activities are being carried out”.
He said that they are monitoring X-Ray facilities in Masanga, Lunsar, Makeni and Kailahun and wherever there is an X-Ray facility or mining activity. “Our mandate is to protect the general public against exposure to radiation which has consequences like cancer and generic diseases,” MrKongo stated.
The Executive Secretary stated that theAuthority’s Board thought it fit that the presence of the Authority should be felt in the provincial towns, adding that for the past two years, he has been knocking on the doors of the Ministry of Finance to make budgetary allocations to establish provincial offices.
MrKongo reiterated that four of their most trained Scientists now called Inspectors under the new Act were promoted to the positions of Managers, stating that each of them (newly promoted Managers) have been assigned to each region, West, North, South and East.
He further stated that the four couldn’t be there permanently; “we just want to facilitate their movement to these areas, so that they can know what is going on.”
MrKongo concluded that the motorbikes are registered with government number plate, and further admonishing them to use the motorbikes prudently and for the purpose in which they have been dedicated to them. He warned that the motorbikes should not run aspassengers bike.
Chairman of the Board’s Authority, Dr Abdul BabatundeKarim said that the Radiation Protection Board as it were before, nowNuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Authority has a renewed mandate. He said that the Authority is a national entity and not a Freetown institution, therefore the need for the Authority to establish offices in the provinces.
Dr Karim stated that with the renewed mandate, it makes it more imperative to cover the entire country, hence the allocation of duties to top Scientists to be Managers to the various regional offices. “We cannot go to those regions as of now, but these regions have to be covered,” he said.
He hoped that mobility would no longer be a problem for Managers who will be using the motorbikes fortheir radiation work. Further hoping that with these motorbikes people will know more about the importance of the Authority.
In his statement Deputy Minister of Energy, Martin Bash- Kamara said that the Ministry is pleased that this undertaking has been done by the Authority under the leadership of the Executive Secretary MrKongo.
He hoped that by the time the next budget allocation will be made there will be provision for vehicles, adding that he appreciates that the Board has made sure that the visibility of the Authority is all over the country.
Mr.Kamaraurged the Managers to be mindful that they are taking the Authority out of Freetown and whatever they do must be in line with the Authority’s mandate.
By Abibatu Kamara