Posted By : National Tourist Board/ 251

The Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs ( MTCA ), Honorable Sidie Yayah Tunis, has expressed his deepest satisfaction on  cooperation between him and staff of his Ministry and Management of it’s two subvented Agencies, the National Tourist Board of Sierra Leone ( NTB), and the Monuments and Relics Commission (MRC) “I can Boast of having the Best Management in the Country, all the staff at my Ministry, the Management of the NTB and MRC are very much cooperative and understanding, that is why Tourism is at it’s trajectory height in the Country, a peak this country had never experienced before, this is as a result of the synergies we have formed in the Tourism Industry” the Minister stated.

He furthered that, as a Young Dynamic and Result Oriented Minister who is militating in favour of President Ernest Bai Koroma ‘s Agenda for Prosperity and also towards the Development of Tourism in the Country, he will do everything within his powers to ensure that Sierra Leone becomes the Hub of Tourism not only in Africa but the World Over, adding that “I am hereby calling on all MDAs across the Country to emulate by positive theorem (foot steps), we can only help H.E Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma achieve His dream of making Sierra Leone a Paradise when we work amicably with our Deputies, Staff and Management in our different institutions” he noted.

The Minister made this statement on Tuesday 8th August 2017 at the Foyer of the NTB, while addressing the Media, staff of NTB and Sierra Leone Red Cross Society on the ground breaking partnership between the NTB and the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society which resulted to a perfect gentle man’s agreement over three (3) Boats with one hundred and fifty (150) horse powers each to bolster domistic tourism and uncover the beauty of Sierra Leone ‘s Riverine.

The Honorable Minister onbehave of the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma received the three (3) Boats and expressed his profound thanks and appreciations to the entire Management of the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society, and rained praises on the General Manager of the NTB, Mr. Yassin Kolleh Kargbo for the facilitation of the process ” I have the best General Manager in the World, He is very hard working and innovative, he is working day in and day out for the development of Tourism in the Country, I can never ask for a better GM” he eulogised.

He furthered that, Tourism has been placed under Pillar One (1) called the “THE GROWTH PILLAR” of the *Agenda for Prosperity*, this is because, there are enormous potentials in the Tourism Industry, explaining that “most of our beautiful and touristic sites are found within our riverine areas and we will use these Boasts to reveal these places to the entire world through explorations and excursions, since I assumed office as the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, I have approached various MDAs for help and this is really yielding dividend, by the time we reaches December, Tourism will Propondrant all other sectors in the country” the Minister stated, he concluded that, “since we are in the low season (rainy season), the Boats will be kept at Cape Light, Aberdeen, until we arrive at the high season (Dry Season) then they will be used along our riverine” he concluded.

Also making a statement at the gathering, the General Manager of the NTB, Mr. Yassin Kolleh Kargbo, heaped praises on the Young Minister, for his arduous and assiduous work since his appointment as the Minister, which has seen Sierra Leone climb the Ladder at its highest rung as the *FASTEST GROWING TOURIST DESTINATION IN THE WORLD* “After the Ebola Epidemic, people were still afraid of visiting the Country, but the Minister have helped to Rebrand the Country, now tourists a flowing, he played a pivotal role during the scourge which triggered the President to appoint him as the Minister of Tourism so he can help to market the Country adequately” the GM, noted.

He said that, Tourism is multi – functional , that is more so the MTCA and NTB have partnered with so many other MDAs, and that, the parnership with the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society (SLRCS) came about the three (3) Boats.

After Introducing all members present at the gathering, the Head of Resource Mobilization of the SLRCS, Mr. Steven E. B. Koroma, noted that, the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society is not an NGO as people normally perceive, but an institution established by an act of Parliament, hence a government body “We are an auxiliary to government, we are the errand boys to government, we were established for immediate relieve service and we are also committed to the development of this Country, thus will partner with any organisation gravitating towards the betterment of this Nation and the NTB happens to be of these organisations in the country” he reiterated.

Mr. Koroma, furthered that, the parnership with the NTB is one of the best and most fruitful parnership his institution has undertaken, because, according him ” everything worked well as planned”

However, it behooves Sierra Leoneans to note that, the three (3) Boats were donated to the SLRCS by the *International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crecent Movement* to help fight the Ebola Virus Disease at the Riverine Areas of the Country but because the Boats were customised mainly for the Coastal Areas of Sierra Leone so they can navigate properly, there was delay at the factory in the manufacturing of the Boats, hence arrived in the Country late, when Ebola had almost been conquered. Therefore the SLRCS decided to partner with NTB for the three (3) in order to help boast Tourism the Country.

In another development, a team comprising of senior staff members of the NTB led by the *Deputy General Manager, Madam Fatmata Abe-Osagie*, received the Boats at Phillip street junction, Eastern of Freetown on the same day. The NTB and SLRCS staff members escorted the Boats in a unified convoy along the streets of Freetown to the Head Office of the NTB amid public jubilant, applause and praises. The Boats were later escorted at the Cape Light, Aberdeen for safe keeping till the High Season or Dry Season.