Members of Parliament yesterday approved the appointment of Dr Dunstance Spencer as the chairman of Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute.
Presenting the nominee to members yesterday, the deputy majority leader Sheku Badara Bashiru Dumbuya of the APC said the nominee was interviewed by the Appointments and Public Service Committee on February 5 where he spoke of resuscitating the Rokupr Rice Research Centre.
Contributing to the approval of the nominee, the PMDC leader in parliament, Thomas Mansaray said the nominee was the right man for the job.
Dr Bernadette Lahai of the SLPP said the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute Bill, which was passed by the last parliament, was on the need to bring all research institutes together to maximize the available human resources.
She expressed happiness and praised the appointment of the nominee as one of the best to be in charge of that institute.
Dr Lahai recalled that the nominee headed one of the most recognized internationally acclaimed agricultural research institutes in the world, the international research institute; and was in charge of the economic division and since he left the division, his replacements had not been up to the task.
Rev PC Yvonnie said with the academic qualifications and professional experience of the nominee, he would certainly succeed.
The paramount chief said he was coming from Senehun, some 10 miles to Njala where research in agriculture was for a very long time conducted.
He spoke of moving from research to embarking on agriculture itself which would help in the reduction of importing the country’s staple food, rice. “We talk a lot, and I have extended invitation to members of parliament to go to my chiefdom and do agriculture as I will give them free land. But we still talk about agriculture and research but we have to demonstrate and open the way for agriculture,” he told MPs.
Dr Spencer is a professionally qualified agricultural economist with graduate and under graduate level trainings in animal science and agronomy.
Hon Dumbuya said the nominee had served as university lecturer in Sierra Leone and the United States and also as leader of several international research projects which earned him lots of experience. He is also an expert in implementing development, environmental assessment, instant evaluation, poverty alleviation and national policy formulation.