Salone News

Our Cabinet Ministers, Diplomats and Other Government Officials

16 April 2013 at 16:57 | 883 views

Editor’s note: We have not been able to continue our weekly series on our Ministers, diplomats and other senior government officials for a long time now due to work pressures and less time for research but we have recruited an individual based in Freetown to specifically handle the series. In this his first installment, he presents Mineral Resources Minister Minkailu Mansaray (photo), Education Minister Alhaji Dr. Minkailu Bah and Social Welfare and Gender Affairs Minister Moijue Kaikai. Due to the bulk of information such a task engenders, we can only do one Minister a week, starting this week with Honourable Minkaiilu Mansaray. We shall present Honourable Minkailu Bah next week.

We shall also introduce a new series very shortly which will look at foreign companies in the country and their operations, starting with companies like Koidu Holdings,London Mining, Addax, Africell, Mercury and so on.

Our man in Freetown is also currently examining the Auditor-General’s recent voluminous report on state corporations and will start doing their profiles soon.Here is Honourable Minkailu Turay:

Alhaji Minikailu Mansaray, Minister of Mineral Resources

Short Bio

Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray has been in politics since his teenage days as ayoung supporter in the east end of Freetown of the ruling All People’s Congress political party.

Even though he later became an insurance executive (one of the first professionally trained insurance executives in the country) he never abandoned politics although he is quiet, unassuming and humble, always keeping a low profile.

He has known President Ernest Koroma since their days as young insurance executives at the National Insurance Company, one of the oldest government entities, that trained and employed most of the current senior insurance executives in the country. President Koroma later left the NIC to work at and later head the famous Ritcorp insurance company. Minkailu stayed at NIC and later left to form his own insurance company with some friends.

So Minkailu, a devout Muslim, has a lot of business experience under his belt together with immense political experience at the grassroots level. He was a member of parliament in 2002 and was campaign manager for the APC at the recent elections.

Challenges:

The Ministry of Mineral Resources, like the Finance Ministry, is one of the most important ministries in the country and the Ministers can be considered one of the senior ministers in the government. Our information is that the President himself closely supervises this ministry and appoints some of his most trusted lieutenants to head it.

Minkailu Turay, with over 30 years business experience and negotiating skills, with a calm disposition is probably on of the fittest person to run this ministry.

There have been some upheavals by workers in some of the the foreign mining companies in which the minister has intervened successfully (we shall write about some of these upheavals in another series).

The matter of taxes paid by the mining companies and social and environmental responsibilities of these companies have been some of the challenges faced by this ministry. The government, it seems, does not want to push the investors too hard to encourage investment in the country but at the same time wants to see the country and people benefit from our diamonds, iron ore, gold and so on. Thus negotiations are never end on how to protect the environment, build schools, roads, clinics and many other facilities in the areas the companies operate and to review taxes.

All the above are quietly done without fanfare (Minkailu’s style), even when hell is raised in some unprofessional media (those who never contact the minister or the ministry on anything related to mining policy or issues).

Achievements so far.

1. Minkailu has managed to create an atmosphere of peace between most of the mining companies and workers (he was at one time a Labour Minister and as a grassroots politician he knows how to talk to the ordinary man or woman).

2. Mining agreements are constantly under review under his leadership and the advice of the president and experts in the ministry, nothing is static.

3. Foreign investors seem satisfied with him and his relationship with them can only be described as cordial.

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