By way of transforming the face of the Monument and Relics Commission (MRC) and to effectively execute their functions efficiently, it has opened a standard Secretariat at 23 Pultney Street, Freetown, with support from the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs.
It could be recalled that the Monuments and Relics Commission (MRC) was established in 1948 following the enactment of the MRC ordinance in 1947 for the preservation of Ancient, Historical, National Monuments, Relics, and other Objects of Archaeological, Ethnographical and other scientific interest in the Country.
Despite the efforts of successive Commissions since its establishment, the MRC has never had a well-established and staffed Secretariat, a situation that led to its inefficient operations, but was reconstituted by President Ernest Bai Koroma on the recommendation of the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Peter B. Konteh in March this year, as Parliament was able to approve the Chairperson and other Commissioners to run the Commission.
On assuming office in March, 2014, the Chairperson, Madam Isatu Smith, secured a single room as office space at the Sierra Leone National Museum which served as the MRC Secretariat temporarily.
Stakeholders from various entities assembled at 23 Pultney Street, to witness and grace the official opening of the Secretariat of Monuments and Relics Commission.
According to the Chairperson of MRC, Madam Isatu, “as a Commission, we are proud to boast of, if not the first Secretariat, but the most outstanding one in the history of the Commission, since its establishment in 1947,” stating that 2014 marks the Secretariat 67th anniversary, as she is grateful to all those who in their diverse ways helped the Commission realize its dream, including the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs (MTCA), Peter Bayuku Konteh, for his unflinching support, encouragement and leadership.
She further acknowledged the deputy Minister of MTCA, Madam Khadija Sesay for her guidance and support, the Members of Parliamentary Committee for their on-going fight to ensure that the sector gets the attention it deserves, and the Permanent Secretary Mrs. Nancy Tengbeh, together with Director of Culture, Foday Jalloh and other key staff of the Ministry for their relentless efforts and assistance in providing the Commission the Human Resource and Guidance in setting up the Secretariat.
Madam Isatu Smith underscored the fact that the new office is just a temporary home for the Commission, as the Commissioner’s goal is to acquire an old historic building to restore it to a befitting standard that will showcase the true nature of the Commission.
She pledged that with the help of God and with the full support of all those present at the occasion, this achievement of the Commission will not be the last, but the first of many more to come
The Minister of MTCA, Peter B. Konteh stated that he was delighted for the achievement of the Commission, which in less than a year has made this achievement and this is just a sign that the appointment of the Commissioners was the right decision and timely, disclosing that he has engaged the President and the Ministry of Finance, on emphasizing the need to pay more attention to this sector and that they have given their promise of continuous support.
According to the Minister, come 2015, there will be an increase of funds to the sector, but notwithstanding the Commitment of the Government, he encouraged all and sundry in the sector to join hands with the Government in the effort to achieve the Agenda for Prosperity and seek funding elsewhere as the government funds are limited with competing needs.
By Alhaji M. Kamara
Wednesday November 05, 2014