Lawmakers have unanimously approved Ambassador Joseph Christopher Blell to serve as the new Chairman and Commissioner of the National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM).
Blell was approved together with Amb. Fatmata Edna Kargbo as deputy Head of Mission, Sierra Leone Embassy to the Federal Republic of Germany, Amb. Duwai Lungay as deputy Ambassador, Sierra Leone Embassy to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Lieutenant General (Rtd) Brima Sesay to serve as Director General at the newly established National Disaster Management Agency.
Ambassador Joe Blell is a seasoned administrator with a proven record of transparency and accountability.
During the late Dr. Ahmed Tejan Kabbah's administration, he was first appointed as High Commissioner to the Federal Republic of Nigeria between 1993 and 2002. Later, he was appointed to serve as Deputy Minister of Defence and Minister of Defence from 2002 to 2007.
Also, Amb. Fatmata Kargbo had served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation. She was the Minister, Chancellor at the Sierra Leone High Commission in the Republic of Banjul from 2010 to 2012, Chancellor Sierra Leone High Commission in Ghana from 2016 to 2018.
Presenting the nominees for approval, Chairman of the Committee on Appointment and Public Service, who also doubles as the Leader of Government Business, Hon. Matthew S. Nyuma, said the committee adhered strictly to regulations and the constitution of the country to vet the nominees.
He said all the nominees are symbols of good representatives of Sierra Leone with wealth of experience in national service, including diplomatic missions, humility, business, professionalism, politics, military, and reputable characters.
He said during the vetting, it was discovered that the presidential nominees are all fit for purpose, but urged them not to be complacent.
He encouraged them to perform well and deliver on the expectation of the New Direction manifesto and in respect of national development, adding that the nominees should not politicize democratic institutions.
In his contribution, Hon. Hassan Abdul Sesay said he has no doubt in the appointees as he has met with all of them before their appointment.
He urged Amb. Blell and reminded him of the problems of the institution and advised him to work in accordance with the commission's Act.
He said the approval of nominees has always been a process that is constitutionally required.
He described Amb. Joseph Blell as a selfless man who is 'trustworthy' working with people of all walks of life relative to the role he had played in football management.
"I hope that a man with such ability would do the needful in his new job".
Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Information and Communications, Hon. Boston Munda Rogers, said he was very much confident in Amb. Blell, but however, advised him to work with the committee of the House.
"I know you to be a best performer and you going to such institution, I know you promote unity and team work. Go and make us proud," he said.
Hon. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo also commended Amb. Blell and stated that NATCOM is not a comfortable place.
He,however, expressed confidence in the nominee, hence advised him to make sure that NATCOM works well as the public is expecting a lot.
Leader of the main opposition All People's Congress, Hon Chernor Maju Bah described the nominee for National Disaster Management Agency as the finest military officer in history, hence urged him to perform well.