Last weekend the debate and discussion about the decision of the President not to pay non-executive Board members was very intense on social media and in some newspapers with some of them calling on the President to rescind such decision.
It was indeed true that the government of President Koroma failed to draw the line between Board and Management in some of our parastatals to the point that some non-Executive Boards almost transformed themselves into Executive Boards.
One such cases is the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA) then Board Chair, Reverend Samura who was always seen interfering into the functions of the management to the point that he created a rift which led to the suspension of the then Director now Executive Director of Sierra Leone Maritime Administration.
Before proceeding, it is but fitting for people to understand the concept of corporate governance in public entities- in this case the various government parastatal.
Corporate Governance refers to rules, processes or laws by which business are operated, regulated and controlled and at the same time provides the framework for attaining a company’s objectives.
In corporate governance there are certain fundamental policies such as clear strategy, discipline, fairness, transparency and social responsibilities which are very pivotal in running of any entity be it private or public.
Having grasped that, it is good for people to understand who Board members are and not to conflict them with those who are in the day to day activities of a company.
Board members are elected or appointed to oversee the activities of a company or organization. We should mark the word ‘’oversee’’ meaning the works of the Board are oversight functions, policy formulation and to serve as the link between the shareholders and the management. The Boards are not supposed to have anything to do with the day to day running of an institution.
It was unfortunate that in the Koroma led government, most Boards such as NATCOM, SLRSA, and other entities were in conflicting roles with that of the management of the Board.
This wrong should not continue just as many other things that were fundamentally wrong. President Bio campaigned on platform of change and disciplined leadership as such we expect the President to correct those abnormalities in the public service.
Besides, this is in line with the President’s ambition of reducing the wage bill. The government has been lauded of late of doing very well in revenue generation drive to the point that President Bio proudly spoke about it in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly.
The President should also make do his promise of prudent financial expenditure and one way in doing that is by stopping those enormous illegal salaries that were paid to non-executive Board members.
I was stunned when I read that the NRA Board Chairperson, a non-executive Board chair was receiving the sum of thirty million Leones and that a NATCOM Board Chairman is receiving five thousand dollars monthly. This is very sad and pathetic and it shows how President Koroma and his APC ruined the economy of the country.
Now that President Bio wants to correct those anomalies some of the folks within his party are beginning to fume. Some of them have forgotten the promises of the party that they once espoused which garnered overwhelming votes for the party.
They now want all the paraphernalia of power even things that are illegal to the detriment of the nation and the ordinary Sierra Leoneans. There are rumours that they are all angry because the President is doing the right thing.
If that is the case, let them point out any private company where Board members are paid salaries. It is a simple management principles that non-executive Board members should only be given sitting stipends.
President Bio should continue doing the right thing that will develop Sierra Leone because coming into public office is not an avenue for making money rather it is a service job to humanity.
My advice to those Chairmen, Board Members and party stalwarts who want salaries is to resign and do business because business in its entirety is for profitability.

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