Newly elected president, Julius Maada Bio has self-righteously taken steps gearing towards revenue generation following recent policies put in place.
Bio has made it clear to the international community and development partners that he met a battered economy that is seen as ‘worst since independence.’
He also made claims that the Ernest Bai Koroma led government left external debt of over $2.0 Billion dollars, local debt of Le 4.9 Trillion, and said country’s commercial banks have been reckless in their disbursements of huge loans to politically exposed persons.
He claimed that his government, in merely weeks, has generated over a Le150 Billion, stating however that, “for the first time in two years will government pay salary without borrowing anywhere.”
Bio’s revenue generation push has seen him put number of economic measures in place including banning of uncalled for duty waivers, banning of the export of timbers and of course the opening of a treasury single account at the central bank.
In pursing this, the Sierra Leone Cable Limited (SALCAB), an institution headed by the in-law of former President Koroma, Mohamed Sheriff has been accused of not paying taxes amounting to billions of Leones.
SALCAB is the agency responsible for internet gateway and the talked about fibre optic cable.
Information gathered from the Sierra Leone National Revenue Authority (NRA) revealed how SALCAB has been given a cut-off date of latest Tuesday 17 April to pay a sum totaling Le 26 Billion owed NRA into the consolidated fund or face the wrath of the law.
Our findings are that moneys owed NRA are in three categories- Le 548,747,400 as custom duties and custom related activities, Le 11,954,620 as domestic GST collected and others.
But SALCAB’s head, Mohamed Sherriff when contacted refused making any comment, but claimed his organization has responded to claims relating to taxes owed NRA accordingly.