Raymond Kargbo, Director General Petroleum Directorate, is Sierra Leone’s highest paid civil servant- Le 102 million every month.
His salary, reports state, triples that of President Koroma who doubles as commander-in-chief and fountain of honour of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
That as at year ending 2016, the salary of Raymond Kargbo which was little over Le 80 million was increased to 40% thus making him now receives Le 102 million as take-home effective January 2017.
It is true the Office of Petroleum Directorate is directly under office of the President and was established to regulate and supervise petroleum oil and gas operations in the country. Salary currently paid its DG is but in opposition with the Sierra Leone economy, one driven by donors and which is facing meltdown.
Information now in the public domain is that the Petroleum DG is receiving an annual net salary of over a billion has left many in shock including countless number of civil servants holding worthwhile and enviable public positions- Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, others inclusive.
Three years down the line (2014, 15 and 16), report states, following breakthroughs that oil discovered in Sierra Leone is of less commercial value, and by extension, companies vesting interest in the drilling of petroleum oil in the country forced pulling-out, the Petroleum Directorate has virtually not been generating any income, making the Directorate of no commercial importance but rather conditionally reliant on finances it has generated.
And that the Directorate, some two years ago, rented the Emmanshola House at Third Road on Regent Road, Hill Station, for use as office from the current Secretary to the President, Osho Coker, at an unimaginable cost – USD 145,000- (over a billion of country’s money) a year.
Being an office under Office of the President, it is presumed nonetheless that renting out a house owned and belonging to the Secretary to the President is a complete conflict of interest as stated in the Anti-Corruption Act 2008.
It is revealed also that DG Raymond recently made an oversea trip, purchasing a traveling ticket at USD 7000 (comparably fifty million Leones).
They say over two hundred million Leones is reportedly spent on him (DG Raymond) as yearly house rent allowance.
Sources said he (DG Raymond) has bought a house situated at Adelaide Street on Gabriel Street junction, which used to house a night club called Mix-Point.
Mishaps said to have been happening at the office of the Petroleum Directorate has raised an anxiety of unease from among concerned Sierra Leoneans, who time countless, have called for a probe on how monies are spent by officials of both the Directorate and the office of the President respectively.
A source also tells the New Age that the Secretary to the President, Osho Coker, has had his son and close family member respectively employed as Finance and IT officers at the Directorate, and that both have had unfettered and enjoying moments doing things at will.
Even though the recently published 2015 audit report has made no mention about the Petroleum Directorate, allusions making the rounds state that there are damning disclosures on how finances of the Directorate are used and how also procurement processes, in particular, the renting of its office space (one belonging to the Secretary to President) were violated.
Recently, it was revealed that some employees of the Directorate were summarily dismissed on grounds of gross misconduct (breach of trust, breach of confidentiality, professional misconduct, disclosure of official documents and correspondence between the Petroleum Directorate and its clients to the print media), with the dismissed letter copied the Secretary to the President for the information of his boss.
This, by definition, shows how the rented office space, (property of Secretary to the President), portrays absolute conflict of interest and by extension a case for the anti corruption.
When NEW AGE contacted the Communication Director in the Office of the President, Jara Kawusu Konteh, he promised to call to clarify the issues but failed to do so up until press time.