By Lansana Fofanah.
The newly appointed Executive Director of the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration, Dr. Sarah F. Bendu has vowed to promote sea safety and regulate the maritime sector in accordance with the law.
Members of the Sierra Leone Parliament from both the opposition All People’s Congress and the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party and the National Grand Coalition hailed Dr. Bendu during her approval and they described as the pioneer of road safety in the transport sector.
Taking over as the new Maritime boss at colorful ceremony at the Maritime Headquarters, Government Wharf, Freetown Dr. Bendu said that safety precautions have always been her utmost concern and coming from road safety to sea safety makes her work easier.
“I am more committed to continue with the opportunities I have met here and I will improve on the weaknesses so that we can be able to move on the agenda of the President which is geared towards making Sierra Leone a better place for all. I thank God for giving me the chance and made the President to believe that I have what it takes to make that much desired change. My new job here is going to be a challenging one which I am willing to adapt to as time goes by and with your positive support we should always live by the words of our National Anthem which call for unity in every aspect of life”, Dr. Bendu said.
She promised to ensure the safety of all passengers plying the high seas and to see that all boats operating are in good working order. Doing this she said, requires the Maritime Traffic Regulators to be dedication and sacrifice in the enforcement of the law.
The outgoing Executive Director Dr. Alhaji Wuror Jalloh said that his fifteen years of service as Head of the Maritime Administration, has been a worthwhile experience as he was able to boost the human resource capacity from thirty three to two hundred and twenty two employees.
He described Dr. Bendu as a sister who is coming to continue the good work and legacy of a brother that is always willing to offer any assistance to a sector where he is well knowledgeable about.
He thanked the Maritime Traffic Regulators for instilling the laid down policies of the administration. He called on the new boss to look into the legislative angle such as conventions and other international laws governing the sea so that, they can be ratified in order for the Maritime Administration to be able to enforce laws on any international vessels when they flout them.
Mr. Jalloh admonished Dr. Bendu to have a good working relationship with the Sierra Leone Ports Authority, Ministry of Transport and Aviation, the Office of National Security and all stakeholders that are important in the day to day administration of SLMA and moreover, the workers she inherited as they have been instrumental during his term.
The incoming Board Chairman, Mr. Umaru Barly Dumbuya said that the symbolic handing over ceremony has been the best in recent times. He expressed his appreciation for having a person like Dr. Bendu who has much enthusiastic effort in achieving every set goal. He promised to use his international experience so that the best could be achieved towards promoting the maritime administration.
The Deputy Director of SLMA, Alpheus Cole said that receiving a result oriented woman like Dr. Bendu in any institution is a blessing. He gave a brief background about the formation of the SLMA in 2000 with the aim of protecting the maritime environment. He said that the Government Transition Team report gave the outgoing boss a good score which their incoming mother Dr. Bendu will be able to tap into and continue the aims and objectives of the Maritime Administration.