Debt so far incurred by the Sierra Leone government amounts to USD 1.6 Billion (a tenth of a trillion Leones correspondingly).
Same has been confirmed by the Chairman and Leader Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), Chief Somanoh Kapen, in an interview with a local television station in the country. Chief Kapen said Sierra Leone is dubbed ‘the poorest of poor’ owing to awful governance course of action.
“International financial institutions the likes of IMF and World Bank some time ago advised President Koroma and his ruling APC government prioritizes and avoids wasteful spending, but such weren’t listened to.”
Also, and until September 2016, there have been calls from the public for the downsizing of public offices, purchase of expensive and gas guzzling vehicles, overcrowded oversea trips, etc, which clearly has seen Sierra Leone going into huge and bad debts over the years.
The Citizens Budget Watch, months ago, published a report on Sierra Leone’s fiscal and consumer price index 2016, in which they stated that government is constrained and that even to support its operating expenses is a problem.
“At half year (2016), the government operating expenses stands at 47.93% making it very difficult to support other government running costs. Net cash flow from operating activities is in deficit of Le366, 89 Billion- arrears payments are way off the roof to Le124 Billion,” the report states.
Mathew Dingie, Budget Director Ministry of Finance recently said that the IMF and World Bank have held all forms of funding, in a way compelling government cut down spending to enable development.
Recent increments in the prices of electricity and passport are indicators that government is bankrupt and needs money to run the affairs of the state.
When in 2016 President Koroma was elected president, Sierra Leone was utterly a debt free nation.
Our findings are that debt now incurred, amounting to approximately a tenth of a trillion, came owing to un-prioritized projects carried out by government.
Road projects costing millions of dollars have had abundant corruption implications, consequently seeing Sierra Leone losing huge amount of money to politicians and private people.
Some school of education say the recently announced austerity measures by government will only reduce wasteful public spending, but will create no encouraging impact to the country’s daily shrinking economy.
However, things seem not clear as to whether stances of international financial funders (IMF and World Bank), that which speaks of the imposed economic moratorium on Sierra Leone cannot be terminated or until after 2018.