By: Amadu Femoh Sesay
Information Officer-Cabinet Secretariat
The Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service, Dr. Ernest Sahid Alie Surrur on Tuesday 8th April, 2014 played host to the out-going and in-coming Cultural Chancellors of the Republic of Iran, Mr. Mohammad Reza Gheza Sofla and Dr. Mohammad Marefat respectively, when they called on him for Mr. Sofla to bid farewell at the end of his tenure and to introduce his successor.
Dr. Surrur flanked by Mr. Gheza Sofla (left) and Dr. Marefat (right)
Welcoming the new Cultural Chancellor, the Secretary to the Cabinet said Sierra Leone and Iran have very strong diplomatic relationships and the latter has contributed tremendously to building the capacity of some Sierra Leoneans citing health, education and moral teachings, among others. Dr. Surrur told the new man that his predecessor has played a key role in cementing those relationships.
He disclosed that the Office of the Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service is undertaking some reforms that will make it more effective and efficient in executing its mandates and helping the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to do better in their work. “…this is the hub of government. If it is not efficient the MDAs will not perform well. So we are putting measures in place to assist them with their work…” he re-affirmed.
The Secretary to the Cabinet assured the new Cultural Chancellor that his office is prepared to give him the same level of cooperation that his predecessor had enjoyed. He said he was confident that Mr. Gheza Sofla will relay Sierra Leone’s gratitude to the government and people of Iran for their support.
The Head of the Civil Service lauded the out-going Cultural Chancellor for his good work in the country and hoped that the new man will continue from where his predecessor stopped.
In his farewell statement, Dr. Surrur thanked Mr. Mohammad Reza Gheza Sofla for the good work he has done and wished him well in his new posting.
The out-going Cultural Chancellor said the government of Sierra Leone has done tremendously well in pushing the development agenda forward. He said the country would definitely achieve a lot in the coming years.
Mr. Sofla reiterated that the two countries have enjoyed strong diplomatic bilateral relationships and commended Sierra Leone for maintaining the relationships. He thanked the Secretary to the Cabinet for his cooperation with the Iranian Embassy and admonished on him to continue with the good work he is doing for the country. He said he was confident that his successor Dr. Marefat would do everything within his reach to maintain the good relations between the two countries.
Mr. Sofla applauded Sierra Leoneans for being hospitable. He said Sierra Leone is his second country disclosing that his son is married to a Sierra Leonean. He congratulated Dr. Surrur on his election as President of the Council of African Cabinets in February this year, which he attributed to his humility, commitment and hard work.
The new Cultural Chancellor, Dr. Mohammad Marefat said he was very happy to meet with such a humble personality like the Secretary to the Cabinet. Dr. Marefat said he was prepared to continue the good work of his predecessor. He also assured Dr. Surrur of his fullest cooperation in further strengthening the relationship between our two countries. “…I am ready to facilitate your business with the Iranian government and to maintain the good relationship between my country and yours…” he maintained.
Dr. Marefat commended the government and the people of Sierra Leone for the development strives so far since the war ended.