Honourable Chief Justice
Ministers of Government
Honourable Member of Parliament
Excellencies, Members of Diplomatic Corps
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
Let me start by thanking the people of this great country for giving me the opportunity to address this honourable House for the first time as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone. My victory is not only for myself or the Sierra Leone People’s Party, but also for the people of this great nation. This historic victory demonstrates the advancement that the people of Sierra Leone has made in consolidating ou r nascent democracy.
I am here this morning to translate my campaign promises as articulated in the New Direction People’s Manifesto into policy actions. The underlying principles of the New Direction are Disciplined Leadership, Integrity, Efficiency, Professionalism and Delivery I am making this address against the backdrop of the worse economic situation that this country has faced since independence and characterized by double-digit inflation, low domestic revenue mobilization, high domestic debt burden , unsustainable external debt , and huge arrears to contractors. Therefore, taking tough policy actions is imperative to tackle the current serious economic situation that we have inherited.