| President restructures government - 03.07.2007
President James Michel yesterday announced a restructuring of his government during which he reduced the number of ministries from 10 to eight.
During the announcement which he made before the national media, President Michel said that in his State-of-the-Nation Address on March 20 and on the occasion of National Day, June 18, he spoke at length on the necessity to transform the way things are done in the country.
“I spoke on the new policies, on efficiency, reduction of bureaucracy and on a government that is more and more relinquishing its role as an employer and taking on the role of facilitator,” the Head of State said.
He said that he also spoke of a new Seychelles and change for everybody’s betterment.
“In my address on June 18, I also announced that I would restructure my government.
“Today, after a long period of reflection, which was necessary, I have the pleasure to announce the reorganization,” President Michel said, before announcing the following portfolios which he said take effect today:
In the Office of the President, President Michel appointed Rolph Payet as his special advisor for Environment. Dr Payet also becomes chairman of the newly set up Foundation for Seychelles University.
Lucy Athanasius is the principal secretary (PS) for “Special Duties,” which will include a new project called “Young Leaders,” which the President announced on June 18.
Jean-Paul Adam takes on new responsibility as the principal secretary in the Office of the President. The Office acquires a new portfolio for the exploration of oil, as a result of which the executive chairman of the Seychelles Petroleum Company, Capt Guy Adam, will report directly to the President.
Principal secretary Marie-Ange Hoareau will continue to be responsible for Internal Affairs, but in the Office of the Vice-President (VP), under which Jessie Esparon is the new PS for Public Administration.
“All responsibilities of the Department of Tourism which fell under the VP’s Office will now be discharged by the Seychelles Tourism Board under the direction of Maurice Loustau-Lalanne,” President Michel said.
Minister Danny Faure retains the portfolio for Finance which will now have three departments with Ahmed Afif being the PS for Finance and Commerce, Lekha Nair being in charge of the Treasury Department as the Comptroller General. The department will control the budget and government spending.
In line with what he had said earlier, President Michel said that the Tax office is being restructured to become the Revenue Authority to allow government to collect revenue efficiently and in a centralized manner. It will be under Steve Jardin.
The Minister for Finance will continue to be responsible for the Licensing Authority, Social Security and the Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA). The latter will now be headed by Steve Fanny as its chief executive.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs remains under Patrick Pillay. His new PS will be Callixte d’Offay who replaces Claude Morel who will take up the post of Ambassador in Paris.
The President said that the Ministry of Investment, Industries and Technology has been replaced by the Ministry of National Development, under Minister Jacquelin Dugasse, with Veronique Herminie as the PS for Investment, Land Use and Industries.
Christian Lionnet is the PS for Housing and Benjamin Choppy remains PS for Information, Communication and Technology.
Jones Belmont is the new chief executive of the Planning Authority while Patrick Lablache becomes consultant for reclamation work.
The Ministry of Community Development and Youth becomes the Ministry of Community Development, Youth, Sports and Culture with Mr Vincent Meriton as its minister. Olsen Vidot remains PS for Community Development and Denis Rose becomes PS for Youth, Sports and Culture. Alain Volcere is now the chief executive officer of the National Sports Council.
Joel Morgan is the Minister for Environment, Natural Resources and Transport. Didier Dogley is the PS for Environment while Walter Talma remains PS for Natural Resources, and Gerard Lafortune remains PS for Transport.
The Ministry of Education remains under the responsibility of Minister Bernard Shamlaye and Jeanne Simeon remains PS for Education.
Saying that the Seychelles Strategy 2017 requires a knowledge-based society, he said that the transformations should be accelerated in order to attain the stated objectives. He said that it is necessary to have a ministry that plans and manages the country’s most precious resources – our human resources. He said that a new Ministry of Employment and Human Resources Development will be headed by Macsuzy Mondon with Jean Ragain as principal secretary.
He said that Mrs Mondon will also be the chairperson of the new Human Resources Development Council.
Noting that he had already announced his intentions for major reforms in the Ministry of Health, he announced the formation of the Ministry of Health and Social Development headed by Marie-Pierre Lloyd with Anne Lafortune as the PS for Social Development with Marie-Antoinette Alexis as special adviser to the minister and Dr Jude Gedeon as PS for Health.
President Michel announced that after being in politics for 40 years and giving exemplary service for 18 years, Minister Sylvette Pool had expressed her desire to retire.
“In the name of all Seychellois and on my own personal behalf, I want to thank Mrs Pool for her devotion, for her contribution towards our development and for all the service she has rendered to this country,” the Head of State said, thanking also former Mayor of Victoria, Florence Benstrong whom he said had also retired.
President Michel congratulated Ronny Jumeau on his new appointment as Seychelles permanent representative at the United Nations and this country’s ambassador in the U.S. and South America and certain Caribbean countries.
He asked Mr Jumeau to champion Seychelles’ cause for the environment.
The President also appointed Veronique Herminie as the chairperson of the Seychelles Fishing Authority and Conrad Benoiton as chairperson of SIBA, Capt Guy Adam as chairperson of the Port Authority and Maurice Loustau-Lalanne as chairperson of the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority.
Saying that the police force is already undergoing restructuring, President Michel said that in collaboration with the Central Bank, legislation to facilitate the seizure of assets of drug traffickers will be introduced.
He said the defence forces are undergoing departmental and operational restructuring, and that he has appointed Brigadier Leopold Payet as the Chief of Defence Forces, and Lt Col Clifford Roseline as the Chief of Staff of the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces.
He said that the changes pertaining to the ministers are the first phase, and that he has given them one month to work on their own internal restructuring.
“The second phase will involve reconstitution of different boards and authorities. I will do this in the coming days,” President Michel said.