Parliament Gives Seven Days Ultimatum to CTC

By Mariama Sesay

The Parliamentary Committee on Lands, Country Planning and the Environment, and Committee on Trade and Industry have ordered that within seven working days the Commodity Trading Company (CTC) appear with its senior managers or else they risk facing the consequence of contempt of Parliament.
This instruction was issued yesterday at a hearing at the New Administrative Building, Tower Hill.
The public relations officer of CTC, Abu Bakar Sillah was stood down because he was not properly dressed, nor well seated before the Committee due to the fact that he lacks the clout to speak on all of the issues pertaining to Community Development Action Plan and Environmental Impact Assessment.
Hon. Rosaline J. Smith, chairperson of the Committee on Lands said that they have summoned CTC and not Sillah as PRO.
“When we ask for CTC to come here, we did not ask them to send PRO. We want to see the managing director of CTC,” she said, noting that the last time CTC was before them they were similarly not well constituted and CTC did not send a representative.
She added that she is tempted to detain and send the PRO to CID so that CTC can learn lesson not to treat Parliament with levity, but with utmost respect.
Hon. Veronica Sesay Chairperson Trade and Industry Committee reiterated that it is the second time that CTC is underrating the power of Parliament. “Each time we call, you should know that we are not here to witch-hunt. You have challenges and there are so many issues you have to clear because you are dealing with food stuff. We are getting information from outside so many issues, so it is but fitting that your senior management come and highlight or answer to some of these queries; but they are not here as a team and you are here alone. Except you tell us why coming alone. I want to support my colleague in keeping you here until your superiors come,” she said.
Hon Pateh Bah also expressed concern over the fact that the PRO was not properly dressed in appearing before the Committees.
In his excuse as to why coming alone when it was his management team that was summoned, Sillah denied that he was not in Parliament on the first invitation, stating that he met the Committee Clerk (Rogers) and informed the Committee that he did consultation and it was evident that the CTC is doing trading in rice and sugar, and not involve in industrial activities.
“The Clerk told me to come so that I can get more idea on what is to be done if they are related to the EPA issue. I came on the next day, on my way my nose stared bleeding. I am a sinus patient. I went to doctor, and i then called the Clerk and informed him.”
Sillah said he will never disobey Parliament. “I have respect for Parliament,” he said.
Apparently, Hon Rosaline Smith emphasized, “We want to see the Managing Director of CTC to report in Parliament within seven days from today, which will be next week Tuesday,” she said.
The Chairperson Trade Committee, Hon Veronica who stressed that they have asked others to go back and CTC will not be an exception.
Hon Veronica Sesay said, “Go back and come in seven days to address the many issues related to trade. We want to make sure that we do the correct thing for the benefit of all including you businessmen because maybe you have your challenges,” she said to the PRO. “We are not here for bad or witch-hunt, but to exchange idea for us to work fine. So we have given you seven days if not we are going to hold you for not conveying our message to the managing director.”

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