• May 30, 2023

Trade Ministry PR Unit Accuse

Trade Ministry PR Unit Accuse
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Since the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Hinga Sandy took over, the ministry’s programmes and activities for the past five years had and continue to receive very low publicity.

According to investigations mounted by the Forum Newspaper SL, attributed the low publicity of the minister and other senior official engagements both internal and external largely due to the incapability of the ministry’s Public Relation Unit to popularize such engagements and its importance to the economy and the New Direction job creation drive.

Investigations further revealed that the ministry had over the past five years recruited over 3 different Public Relation Officers that were later sacked for unjustifiable reasons, which makes it difficult for the media to cross check certain information before going to press.

With most professional heads in the ministry accustomed to dodging interviews, for reasons best known to them, the absence of a substantive professional to serve in such capacity pose a far-reaching effect on the ministry and the country.

The most recent blunder that exposed the ministry’s PR excesses is the just concluded “Oakwood Green Africa/Trade Ministry Second Trade Show”, City Council Hall, Wallace Johnson Street, Freetown.

The said unprofessional excesses stimulate this publication aims at drawing the attention of the professional heads of the ministry with regards the ministry’s programmes and activities local, regional and international that had and continues to receive very low publicity.

Many media houses that covered the said event has intimated this medium that what was allocated for the press was not dish out accordingly, as a result many media houses were discouraged with the manner the press was treated although budget allocated for the media was very encouraging.

One Elizabeth, Communications Officer currently attach to the Ministry of Information and Communications stands accused of deliberately deducting the amount that was budgeted for individual media houses to what she feels like.

Reliable sources further furnished the Forum News SL that Elizabeth was so desperate to an extent she was didn’t allow journalists to indicate nor sign for the amount they receive per media house.

“Only write your name, institution and signature, for the amount, I will fill myself”, Elizabeth was quoted instructing journalist after the show.

Allegations are that Elizabeth squandered well over Le23,000,0000 (Twenty-Three million Leones), funds meant for media engagements and publicities expected to have popularized the two-day Second Trade Show.

The said money, findings revealed was funded by Africa Export and Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK) and Oakwood Green Africa respectively.

Editors who attended the two-days trade show were not treated with the expected respectability as Elizabeth’s poor PR conduct couldn’t allow her to address the concerns of journalist, reliable sources intimated the Forum News SL.

According to a leaked document from a commercial bank in Freetown indicated over Five Hundred Thousand Leones (Le500,000) was budgeted for daily, surprisingly, media houses received less than what was allocated for journalists/media houses.

According to Elizabeth, she had left the Trade Ministry a year ago. I and Mr. Abdul Kamara coordinated the media for the 1st Trade Road Show the time I was in the ministry, she said.

She continued that Oakwood Green Africa was pleased with the manner she coordinated the media and the media coverage received.

Oakwood Green Africa called and asked me to coordinate the press for the Second Trade Show, even though I told them that am no longer in the ministry, the Communications Officer said.

I and Konneh put the media budget together and embarked on public notices, jingles and media shows in selected radio stations.

She told this medium that what she budgeted for was not allocated to her and as a result has to do with what is available.

This, she said was the reason why certain media houses were deleted off the media list.

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