In her presentation, she stated that the first Commission that was under the Chairmanship of Dr. Macormack Charles Farrell Easmon scored lots of successes including the proclamation of eighteen sites as National Monument and Relics. She highlighted the sites and relics including their proclaimed dates, noting that these sites and Relics includes the old Fourah Bay College building at Cline Town which was proclaimed by the Commission in 1955, the Maroon Church, in 1956 and the Saint Charles Church Regent in 1959 among others.
She opined that after the tenure of Dr. Easmon’s Commission, the successive Commissions were unable to replicate the successes of the earlier Commission due to various reasons which includes inadequate resources and budget allocation to the Ministry and the Commission.
Lack of political will and support for the work of the Commission, she told Journalists, proclaimed assets declined and were in the state of decay, neglect and degradation since neither resources nor expertise were available to preserve and maintain them.
She disclosed that a survey of the nation’s proclaimed Assets in 2012 revealed that indeed most of them were in need of repairs restoration or otherwise completely destroyed.
She said, in 2014 the Commission was reconstituted by His Excellence the President, Dr. Ernest BaiKoroma on the recommendation of Tourism Ministry and new Commissioners were appointed, pointing out that the APC Government unlike the previous ones realized that a nation’s cultural heritage is vital resources that could be an integral part of the cultural life of a nation.
Madam Smith enumerated challenges faced by the reconstituted Commission which include the absence of a Secretariat, human resource capacity and lack of strategic plan to map its future activities.
From 2014 to date with funds provided by the government of Sierra Leone, the Commission, she said has implemented several activities.
In another development, the Outreach Coordinator in the Office of the Government Spokesman, Mr. AbdulaiBayraytay informed journalists about the President’s commitment to the military on Armed Forces Day to support the welfare of the military. He reiterated that such commitment was no accident, adding that in rebranding the country, the military has a pivotal role to play by virtue of their involvement in peace keeping and security operations.