[concord times] The parliamentary oversight committee on information and communication has made a familiarization visit to the proposed site for the landing of the Fibre Optic Cable at Atlantic, Lumley Beach.
Minister of Information and Communications Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo assured the committee that the Fiber Optic Cable, which will run from France through South Africa, will land in the country at the end of this year. "We are very clear the Fibre Optic will land this year," he reiterated.
The minister disclosed that the ECOWAS Wide Area Network project (ECOWAN) has been ratified by parliament to meet the West African Policy of connectivity in the sub-region. He stated that the project is sponsored by the World Bank but completely owned by the government of Sierra Leone.
The minister said the fibre optic cable will be connected to a terrestrial backbone to give neighbouring countries the opportunity to hook up with the system, noting that countries like Senegal will also benefit from it.
Mr. Kargbo told the committee that equipment for the revival of the government Printing Department has arrived from Ghana, adding that the department will be capacitated to be able to adequately perform the functions for which it was established.
He said the Indian government has agreed to fix the traditional land lines in the country so that people will once again begin to use the land line system. He lauded the efforts of the oversight committee for collaborating with his ministry in their activities. He assured the lawmakers that the time table of achievements of the ministry will be kept intact.
Chairman of the committee, Hon. Ibrahim Sorie, assured the minister that the committee was ready to give their support to improve communications in the country, thus underscoring the need for communication saying that "communication is power".
He said he was impressed with the engineering design at the proposed site of the landing of the cable where construction was ongoing. He applauded the minister for being assiduous and referred to him as one who was result oriented.
Hon. Ibrahim Sorie said the committee has visited virtually all the departments of the ministry and was about to write its session report, noting that the committee serves as a bridge between the ministry and parliament and monitors the operations of the ministry.
The Project Manager SIS/LIKUSASA TURNKEY Projects, Neil Freemantle, assured the committee that the construction on the site will be completed before the Fibre lands.
Parliament Visits Fibre Landing Station