The economic failures of the APC government of Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 22 October 2016

Lusine Kallon

kroo-bay4(Photo: Years of waste accumulation in a slum in the capital Freetown) 

After nine years in power, the ruling APC’s economic mismanagement and bad policies have become the root cause of the country’s poor economic performance and the hardship suffered by the ninety-nine percent of Sierra Leoneans.

Our GDP per capital is low, but our government expenditure is very high. Take a look at the recent United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) conference in New York. It is hard to believe that the president and his government travelled to New York with a delegation of 49 members, excluding the president to attend the conference.

Of all these delegates, only the president had the right and mandate to enter the UNGA during the session, while others were left outside with banners of praises of our ‘achievements’.

This further exposed the lies of the APC to the outside world, especially when our country has ambassadors represented in several western countries, who are well informed and aware of the suffering, selfishness, biased and ill treatment the citizens of Sierra Leone are receiving at the hands of the APC government.

president-koroma-speaks-at-un-2016Our president authorized the spending of almost a million dollars on this trip, simply to address empty chairs at the UN while many Sierra Leonean families live on less than a dollar a day.

In addition to the misuse of public funds on worthless projects and activities, the entire process of preparing, executing and reporting on the budget of this nation are kept secret from the public. The proposed national transparency and open information website that will show citizens what the government is spending public money on and how much it is costing to run the country, is yet to see the light of day, after three years of its proposal.

The government’s so called austerity measures to stop an economic meltdown is not going to better the lives of anybody, but will rather add cash into the pockets of the corrupt few.

There is no way these measures can have positive impacts on the greater population, in a country where public servants don’t even make up 10% of the population.  All that would be left for the 99% citizenry who fend for themselves in making ends meet are the following:

  1. Increase in taxes more than the earnings of people. This will only lead to poverty and starvation. And this will further lead to tax evasion especially when it is crystal clear the government has done nothing with the tax payers money it has collected over the years. Instead, all we could hear are mountains of debt we still have to pay at the IMF.
  2. Electricity rate is so high that sixty five percent of people will prefer to live in darkness than spending cash previously meant for feeding their families.
  3. Free health care system doesn’t seem to be working at all. The only available medicines for children at the under 5s are medicines one can easily get at kiosks around town for thousands of Leones.

As it is, the political structure of the ruling APC is falling on a dead end. The economic mismanagement of the APC government has triggered political tensions and instability in the country.

Inefficiencies in the management of the tax system managed by the National Revenue Authority have exposed the APC government to ridicule, not only to the citizens of this nation, but to foreign experts who have been visiting this country on fiscal matters.

A mansion being built by information minister Kanu. Where did he get the moneyThe flashy and bogus life of APC ministers have totally damaged and battered our country’s economy. Now that their days are numbered, they want to cut down on expenditures so they can achieve things they failed to achieve in nine years. IMPOSSIBLE.

There is absolutely no fiscal transparency in Sierra Leone.

All our country needs at this time is an Agenda for Action. We should be on our guard at the coming general and presidential elections and say NO to poverty, economic slowdown, greedy politicians, tribal divisions, regional segregation, lack of freedom of the press and the poor provision of social amenities for all.

Fostering good governance in Sierra Leone means building a capable democratic state, with strong institutions that can promote public interest; and having a strong human resource base, with particular emphasis on the youth and women.

The only party with the above mentioned qualities is the Sierra Leone People’s Party. We can all attest to the fact that our country was up to 2007, a far better place than what we are seeing today.

Even though the SLPP spent most of its governing years trying to bring the war to an end, citizens were never troubled by the uncontrolled inflation we are experiencing today.

3 Comments

  1. The APC government custody of the national wealth of Sierra Leone in the last ten years has been a total fracas by all account, for reasons well established by the author.

    Adding more reasons to this, the inferiority complex of the Ernest Koroma government officials had driven them to sell out our resources in a cheap way to unscrupulous and failed companies who took the upper-hand to exploit weak and clueless governments like the Ernest Koroma government, making the country vulnerable to the crudest form of exploitation by outsiders.

    Excess concessions given to these companies provided them the gateway to reap the wealth of the Sierra Leone people, part of which is shared with corrupt and greedy government officials of the APC elites.
    This has caused the country a huge loss resulting to a weak and unsustainable economic structure, unfit to usher in a welfare condition for the Sierra Leone people. The consequences have befallen the poor masses, having been impoverished to the core of poverty today.

    This is what happens when a class of politicians who believe that politics is a matter of power and not the responsibility for good governance in practice. The responsibility to formulate sound polices that go to transform the country and living standard of the citizens, a standard of living worthy of the wealth that can be tapped in a country like Sierra Leone and its human resources.

    APC government officials have engaged their time in looting the wealth of the nation in a frenzy spree to enrich themselves the quickest possible to make lifetime wealth. In nine years of governance no worthy achievements made.

    It is now time for the citizens of this country to examine the unworthiness of this government, and work together to give them the boot from the governance of the country come 2018, when parliamentary and presidential elections are celebrated. There is no point for this APC to continue in power after that time.

    But we should also mind ourselves about the possible alternative to this government. As to the outlook of the political perspective, the possible alternative to this government is undoubtedly the SLPP who now believe is a government in waiting.

    But how much enthusiastic are the people about the SLPP, given the fact that the SLPP is of a similar political cast to the APC. They have been there and Sierra had remained the same a poor and backward nation, no significant progress made, our state institutions remained weak, political power remain in the hands of the most powerful state institutions.

    As Sierra Leoneans have not been able to form a strong political alternative to challenge the political dominion of these traditional parties, and we definitely need a change of government right now, this shouldn’t mean handing over power on a silver platter to the SLPP.

    The base of the party and elites must feel the weight of the common people this time, as a wake up call that the people will no longer admit bad governance in the country.

    We are seeing how governments across the continent are stepping up with good governance and are making progress towards the path to prosperity and development; providing their citizens a dignified standard of living.

    Sierra Leone shouldn’t be an exception. The citizenry yearn for similar progress and demand our governments to fulfill the oath of their responsibilities to the country and its people. To do just the same at least as other governments are bringing progress in their countries.

  2. The All Peoples Congress (APC) has failed Sierra Leone woefully and we need a change of political party leadership.

    Mr. Lusine Kallon’s coverage on Sierra Leone indicating the economic, education, health systems and putting everything in a nutshell, “mismanagement of the national affairs” as expressed has just exposed the need for a change of political party rule in Sierra Leone, before our country breaks into different fracas of civil war again.

    If we can only recall the causes of the outbreak of civil war, we can recall the statement of Foday Sankoh that he was against the evils of APC and that he will go all out to take the APC out of power in Sierra Leone.

    He further went on to remind Sierra Leoneans that people have been saying that there will be a time when war will break out in this country to teach politicians about their manners of treating ordinary people with care and respect.

    The Ahmad Tejan’s government of the SLPP came and cleared the vacuum for us to breath a democratic fresh air during which, he gave the APC another chance of leverage under the corporation and agreement of the then military leader Julius Maada Bio. This corporation even pioneered Ernest Bai Koroma into the nation’s presidency.

    In order to avoid another chapter of civil unrest resulting into war, it is just the right time to change the APC leadership to another political party leadership through the ballot of the forthcoming Presidential and General Elections in 2018.

    This is just because APC has failed the nation woefully and we just don’t want another civil war in Sierra Leone.

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