On the re-opening of SLPP Office … “We would never encourage violence” John Benjamin...

Apex Bank’s Emmanuel Ngaujah said that in 2018 they were faced with huge challenge with regards loan repayment which led to the writing-off of over Le3 billion as their clients felt like the funds are gratis.  “They feel that it is a rural financial improvement program,” adding “due to the huge challenge in terms of[…]

 Auditors have found several weaknesses in project site organization by contractors. There were no site organization Plan in place for all 18 projects reviewed and which have been visited. Contractors’ Environmental Management Plans were not in place in all 18 of Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) projects that were visited. The auditors only found one project[…]

If Sierra Leone is to accelerate access to finance two key players need to be supported which are the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and the microfinance institutions (MFIs) that deliver the financial services.  This is the position of Paul Mayanga, Representative of the International Labour Organisation, speaking recently on the topic “Accelerating Access[…]

Chinese Ambassador Hu Zhangliang has presented 20,000 bags of rice to Sierra Leone through the Minister of Agriculture last Thursday. The handing over ceremony for the first batch of 2018 Humanitarian Emergency Food Assistance to Sierra Leone was held at the warehouse of the Queen Elizabeth II Quay. Chinese Ambassador Mr. HU Zhangliang, Economic and Commercial Counsellor[…]

The UK based charity organization Christian Aid has called on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to cancel Sierra Leones debt of over 200 million pounds, inorder “to save the country’s health care system and save lives.” The Charity made this call last Wednesday when it released its latest report “The New Global Debt Crisis” during the Christian Aid Week. In a summary of its report the Charity explained, “In November 2018, the IMF agreed a new $172m loan programme with Sierra Leone, spread over the next three and a half years, until mid-2022. At the same time, the IMF increased its rating of Sierra Leone’s risk of debt default from moderate to high.  “The IMF forecasts that by 2022 Sierra Leone will be spending 19% of government revenue on foreign debt [...]
The Technical Audit Report 2019 observed that the Road Maintenance Fund Administration (RMFA) had no guidelines for handling emergency maintenance projects. According to the auditors, in the past 3 years, the expenditure for emergency projects rose 13 times from Le 733 million to Le 9.6 billion in 2016 with a decline in 2017 to Le 4.9 billion. RMFA has been requested in different times to finance emergency roads maintenance projects which are part of their mandate as a road related activity. With this significant increase in the expenditure of emergency roads maintenance, it is the observation of the auditors that RMFA was supposed to have a guideline that would be followed whenever there is an emergency project to avoid any misappropriation of funds under the umbrella of [...]
Director of Investments of National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) Dr Brima Kargbo has told Journalists in a one day seminar at Golden Tulip that their investments are not doing badly as they are lifetime investment. He said NASSIT was established by an Act of parliament, Act No 5 of 2001, and it was established to administer the country’s National Pension Scheme. It covers three major contingencies: Old age, Invalidity and Death and it is a partially funded scheme. He averred that the financing of the scheme primarily comes from contributions and investment earnings. Talking about NASSIT investment activities, Dr Brima Kargbo said the amount of current contributions not needed to pay benefits is accumulated in a reserve fund. “Such reserve amounts are used [...]
Auditors have found several weaknesses in project site organization by contractors. There were no site organization Plan in place for all 18 projects reviewed and which have been visited. Contractors’ Environmental Management Plans were not in place in all 18 of Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) projects that were visited. The auditors only found one project which had an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report namely Taiama-Njala road project. However, the EIA was not reviewed or approved by EPA and SLRA management as required by EPA Act. “There were weaknesses in availability of instruction books on site, for instance in all 18 visited road projects there were no site instruction books.” It was also noted that there were no design drawings at site, the audit noted [...]
“As far as microfinance lending is concern, local currency is the way to go” this is according to International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Frank Ajilore in his response to innovative measures of dealing with forex challenge. Speaking during a panel discussion on “Raising Capital To Promote Inclusive Financial Growth In Sierra Leone” Ajilore said he would not recommend lending in dollars except if there is significant assurance that there is going to be a cap “but if that cap is not possible there is no point.” He considers it a risky venture for international institutions to lend money to local Micro Finance Institutions (MFI’s) in foreign currency given the Forex appreciation against local currencies. In 2018 December, “our management approved that we should [...]
A review of the contract agreement for Freetown Streets Phase II West Zone lot 3 and correspondences between the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) and the contractor revealed that the contractor for the above road project at the time of bidding was a joint venture between M/s Seacon and M/s Dawnus together. According to the Technical Audit report (TAR), after award of contract, M/s Dawnus wrote to SLRA informing the Authority of its decision to pull out of the project. It was further noted that SLRA did not approve the pull-out by M/s Dawnus as there was no evidence to that.  During site verification, the audit found out that only M/s Secon was on-site in 3 street roads whilst nothing had started in the remaining 34 street roads. There was no evidence indicating the existence [...]