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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Clerk Speaks On Passport Saga

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Clerk Speaks On Passport Saga

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He said the constitution gave the opportunity for Members of Parliament to speak on any matter that has to do with national issue including private motion.

Hon. Paran informed that though they have been receiving contrary views to the motion of nullification by certain Members of Parliament yet the motion remain valid and he would give it the required attention until the Speaker decide otherwise.

According to him, the issue of passport contract continues to boil around since Hon. Gavao moved the motion that advanced strongly that the current passport was substandard.

He furthered that the Clerk’s office was at liberty to act upon whatever decision the Speaker would have to make either to step aside the motion or continue to count the days of the motion as provided by the Standing Orders for the Speaker to look into any motion and give effect to it.

The Clerk noted further that a private member’s motion was a request by a member of Parliament for Parliament to take action on a particular subject matter, noting that as representative of the people it gave him the constitutional right to even move a motion of impeachment.

Hon. Paran Umar Tarawally added that no motion was too big for Members of Parliament, saying that nothing was illegal for MP to move a private member’s motion to terminate a government contract as long as s/he follow the necessary procedures to ensure that the right things were done.

He disclosed that no agreement could be a government contract without Parliament and that nothing bad for one of them to seek for an annulment be if one of them as Parliament still had a hand in the document.

He said they would notify the Minister of Internal Affairs on the said matter that it was a motion of nullification of the previous contract that was signed by his Ministry.

He also stated that the counter motion also valid, but that does not mean that the substantive motion was dead, adding that no motion could not be determined by the House as the motion might be enforced after the seven days notice and that the Speaker would soon make ruling on the matter.

He concluded that as responsible government wanted to cater for the ordinary man and woman and that any opportunity comes their way would definitely make use of it.

According to information, the government was now looking for a company that would improve the quality of the passport.

It was also disclosed that the current life of the country’s passport book is five years with less features which made it difficult to travel with.

It was reported that there is a company that was ready to take the contract with less than the current cost and it would last for ten years and free books for government top officials with 50% discount for renewal.

The company was currently printing Passports for Liberia, Ghana and Senegal and it would also expand the immigration offices to Makeni, Bo and Kenema to reduce the bothering of transportation to come to Freetown with a door to door service.

It could be recalled that the present passport price is $100 dollars and only last for 5 years with the same cost.

The government was hoping that if the current agreement was terminated which would give way to a better company; it would enable the government to generate more revenue from the passports sales.

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