The recent austerity measures under taken by the government of Sierra Leone to salvage the drowning economy has led to criticism from members of the public and civil organizations in Sierra Leone as most believe weak economic policies are the main cause.
Lawyer Francis Ben Kaifala is the Director of policy and recruitment in the Renaissance Movement in Sierra Leone and in an exclusive interview with this medium explained about their views on the austerity measures and its disadvantages to the economic situation.
“The austerity measures will not address the overall economic woes of sierra Leone, I think what the measures will do is to provide savings and liquidity to the government but it does not address the issue of inflation, increase of price of commodities in the market, address the balance of trade deficit, that has led to the Leones depreciating to dollar. It does not address water, electricity supply; it does not address self-sufficiency so that we can reduce on the high rate of import”.
Kaifala stated that “we are in this economic mess because government became arrogant; they feel like they have a popular support so they can do anything and get away with it. They have not been listening to advice whether national or international”, he furthered that the APC led government has done lot of things including weak economic decisions and policies that are wrong and has led us to this situation.
“the government has incurred a lot of debts and the beginning of the collapse of the Leones against the dollars was based on the policy implemented by the then Bank Governor in 2013 wherein they tried to squeeze the access to dollars to the formal sector but left the informal sector (black market) to flourish. The formal sector is easier to control than the informal sector and when they did the price of the dollar shoot up and since then they have not been able to catch-up. That policy was disastrous” he maintained.
By Mariam S Bah
Wednesday October 12, 2016