By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
“I rejected an offer by the former All Peoples Congress led Government because I wanted to work in a professional environment where the mining sector will be transformed for the benefit of all Sierra Leoneans rather than few persons,” said Salim Sillah.
Paramount Chief of Wara Wara Yagala Chiefdom-Gbaru Mansaray Pagay III said, “Apart from the longstanding national and international experiences, Salim is a man with integrity beyond imagination.”
Born in Koindadugu District, Northern Sierra Leone, Salim Karamohba Sillah graduated with Honours Degree in Geology-Social Sciences and Law-University of Sierra Leone. He earned certificate in Mapping and Certificate in Data Mine from the Institute of Data Mine in United Kingdom. In pursuit of higher and professional education, he enrolled in 2010 at UK’s first class combined mining school and geoscience department-Camborne School of Mines where he graduated with an MSc in Mining Geology.
Salim has worked in other parts of the world including South America where he has gained a wealth of multi-commodity experience on the exploration, evaluation and management of nickel, gold, bauxite, coltan, diamond, uranium and REE’s projects. He was contracted online by AMR Gold as their in-country Chief Geologist.
He is a Fellow-Geological Society of London -1025020; Member-Cornish Institute of Engineers (UK); Member-Mineralogical Society (UK); Member-Camborne School of Mines Association; Fellow and foundation member-Sierra Leone Institute of Geoscientist.
As Country Manager of Makka Treasures General Company, Salim set up one of the fastest growing companies that acquired 3 Exploration licenses within a year. In continuation, he is currently developing the first Coltan mining in Sierra Leone and has further defined potential targets for possible source rock Coltan/Tin and Real Earth Element discovery.
The SLPP Chairman of Koinadugu District-Foday Mohamed Kuraisy said, “I don’t know him to be a bad person and like any other Koinadugans I am proud of him.”
The Paramount Chief of Wara Wara Yagala went on to say, “If there is anyone to recommend from this part of the country, Salim is our choice.” He said Salim has kept in touch with his people even on international assignment.
The National Coordinator-Human Rights Clinic said Sierra Leoneans need his experience which is why we have selected him as our own Candidate from Koinadugu.” Mohamed Turay noted that without any sentiment, Salim is the most qualified person to head the National Minerals Agency.”
Salim is the leading pioneer for “Sustainable Empowerment for People of Koinadugu” STEP-K, a nonprofit making organization established to promote development in the District. With this initiative, he has brought together all indigenes of the District to participate in promoting development and dishing out of scholarships to less privileged persons.
His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio is looking out for performance to have a quality product, he said, noting that the just announced Cabinet speaks volume of the President’s action to work with a better team.
Our President needs the right professionals and persons with integrity to help him roll out his development trajectory plans enshrined in the New Direction document.
He called on President Bio to do a background check to ascertain whether Salim is the most qualified person to head NMA or not.
It could be recalled that the National Minerals Agency has been plagued with a lot of challenges ranging from maladministration, corruption and poor recruitment without merit.
Under the Directorship of Sahr Wonday, the Audit Report stated that the NMA collected over Le661 million between January and December 2014 as revenue from various income streams but the said sum was not paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.