A modern Shopping Plaza and Transport Terminal has been opened in the northern city of Makeni.
The project is part of the development and investment activities of the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT), and implemented in all three provincial capitals of Bo, Kenema and Makeni.
Addressing a well-attended official opening ceremony in Makeni, President Koroma expressed profound delight in the project, which is consistent with the Agenda for Prosperity, calling on all to take advantage of the opportunities in transforming the country.
He recalled his long association with NASSIT as a chairman of its establishment committee, twenty years ago pledging that his government will continue to transform all regional towns and cities for the benefit of the people and country.
"We will do the things that will make these places look like cities", he said, adding "government has delivered on all the promises it made by ensuring that service deliveries are taken to the door steps of the people".
He said government has increased subventions to universities, now pay fees for pupils attempting the West African Senior Secondary Schools Examination and offer scholarships to female students offering sciences in all tertiary institutions.
"We are going to do more roads and will continue to improve on the living standards of Sierra Leoneans, especially in the rural areas", he said, and further disclosed plans for the construction of a new airport at Mamamah, a seaport in Pujehun district, and a railway to kick off soon.
President Koroma lauded the efforts of the security forces whilst congratulating the Sierra Leone Police and Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces for their bravery and gallantry being demonstrated in the various United Nations and African Union Peacekeeping Missions.
Amidst loud applause, he referred to his successful visit to the gallant professional soldiers in Makeni and pledged to improve on their living standards and general working conditions.
He said government will fully implement the Local Content Policy to ensure that Sierra Leoneans benefit and therefore called on manufacturers to add value to their locally produced products.
The Minister of Labour and Social Security Martin Theambo said the history of the trust will never be completed without mentioning President Koroma, and recommended that 1st May every year be declared as a public holiday in Sierra Leone, to commemorate NASSIT's investment drive.
Minister Theambo said the structure belongs to the people of Makeni and encouraged them to embrace it and effectively use it for the management of the scheme's funds.
Earlier, Chairman of the occasion and Provincial Secretary, Raymond Komba Moiwa Bindi, described NASSIT as a household name over ten years ago since its establishment, by the government as a gift to workers.
He said workers are the owners of NASSIT as it will take care of their old age and retirement and give them hope, adding that the structure will pay royalties to government and every Sierra Leonean.
The Mayor of Makeni City Madam Sunkarie Kabba-Kamara observed that the facility will enhance business in and around the municipality, referring to the occasion as a successful achievement of the government of President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.
The Director General of the trust, Sam Bangura Jr. pledged commitment towards providing services of such nature for the continuous creation of job opportunities for young people in the country, as enshrined in the aspirations of the Agenda for Prosperity.
The Director General said that NASSIT is building low-cost houses, shopping plazas and transport terminals out of contributions from employees into providing employment for youths, as part of its contribution to the Agenda for Prosperity.
Mr. Bangura called on Sierra Leoneans to join the scheme as they have built affordable houses at Waterloo, Makeni and the Sea Side estate in Freetown in line with their plazas in Kenema, Makeni and the one underway in Bo.
NASSIT Board of Trustees Chairman, Jacob Kanu recalled that barely a year ago President Koroma dedicated a similar plaza to the people of Kenema City and was then dedicating another one to the people of Makeni which will be soon followed by Bo.
He therefore called on all to take up the challenge, adding that the facility will be efficiently managed by the investment department of the trust.