Sierra Leone Telegraph: 13 April 2022:
Last Friday, 8th April 2022, the visiting International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mission to Sierra Leone, led by Sukhwinder Singh – Advisor, African Department; and the IMF Resident Representative – Monique Newiak, met with the country’s Ministry of Planning and Economic Development (MoPED) to further discuss the Public Investment Management (PIM) system and assuring MoPED of their continued support.
Sukhwinder Singh while expressing his appreciation to the Minister and his Team for the warm welcome, noted the productive engagement they held with President Dr Julius Maada Bio, on his government’s progress made in governance, particularly with regards IMF programmes.
He commended government’s strides made so far in meeting the structural benchmarks of the IMF and in managing the Sierra Leone economy, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and other global shocks, but called on the government to explore alternative revenue sources and to streamline public expenditures.
Dr. Francis Kai-Kai, the MoPED Minister, spoke about progress made so far in implementing Sierra Leone’s Public Investment Management Assessment (PIMA) which was conducted with support from the IMF and the World Bank.
He said that his ministry has produced a National Public Investment Management Policy (NPIMP) as well as a Pre-Investment Guide which has enabled Sierra Leone to meet the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Structural Benchmark on public investment for the ongoing review.
Dr. Kai-Kai noted that the Ministry has also produced, on an annual basis the Public Investment Program (PIP) for Ministries, Departments and Agencies as part of the national budgeting process, adding that the PIP would also be rolled-out to local councils in the 2023 financial year.
The Minister presented to the Mission, brochures showing the eight policy clusters of the Medium-Term National Development Plan (MTNDP) 2019-2023.
I hope you pray that we will be patient enough for President Bio to implement the IMF conditions signed by former President Koroma. Government is continuity, and now since our president is a man of his words, he has no option but to implement the signed agreement which includes the lifting rice and fuel subsidies, increased tax revenue, diversification of our economy and reduce corruption. So far the new direction is on the right path as late President Kabba did.
Unfortunately after signing the IMF agreement, former President Koroma used the first portion of the loan for his personal gains instead of our citizens. They have been involved in propaganda (D gron dry) knowing what they left behind (Austerity). The IMF did not come begging us for loan, former President Koroma used the Ebola outbreak excuse to get this loan from them but failed to implement the conditions. The IMF fled when former president asked for the second portion which was later disbursed to the New Direction government when they returned.
Let’s continue to pray for President Bio to succeed rather than blaming the IMF who has record of rejecting loans to some corrupt country like Lebanon.
The IMF continues to support a government that have ran out of ideas and have plunged Sierra Leone to a political and economic mess.The IMF and other international financial institutions are increasingly becoming lenders of last resort .Bailing out a government that has no structural programs that will lend credence to lifting our country out of the economic mess they helped to create in the first place is an unforgivable sin .And corruption is the front and back of what this Bio government has become. On present economic conditions the Sierra leonean people , the IMF and other international financial institutions should be asking themselves a question are we getting value for money ?Because Bio and his one directionless government is given the free reign to create gimmick projects in the name of improving the standard of living of ordinary Sierra Leoneans .Yes the past two years have presented challenges for governments around the world .And moments of crises called for national leadership.
Despite all the hardships and the lack of tangible results , Sierra leone still enjoys the privilege of the IMF extended credit facility,because as the report seemed to suggest the Bio government tick all the right boxes on public investment programs.Apart from his much taunted flagship free education programmes what other public investment can the Bio government point to and say this is what we are doing to transform the lives of our people?
knowingly rendering assistant to a corrupt government and failing to audit some if the monies given to this government , with out demanding the benefit of transparency and accountability, is not only helping promote corruption but is giving succour to corrupt politicians that will stop at nothing to maintain their privilege positions in the country.It undermines the rule of law , and free press.And citizens rights are suppressed.That is why we urged the international financial institutions to demand more transparency and accountability from the Bio government .Or we will never conquer the Mountain of corruption in Sierra Leone.
Does the IMF have a policy for controlling corruption by corrupt governments? They are the master lenders to corrupt developing countries. But most of the loans don’t bear fruit. This institution always says that they are lending to these corrupt countries in the name of the population. Mr and Mrs IMF, Sierra Leone is over sixty years since independence. Could you please inform me what development has taken place in the country compared with the massive billions of dollars of debt you have subdued to Sierra Leone? What I see is poverty all the way. I believe that the IMF has to restructure and change course on how they give loans to corrupt governments. What if a government comes in the future and says, we will stop servicing your debts and concentrate on Sierra Leone’s development until we stabilize our economy? Such a government will stop paying One Hundred Billion Leones every month to you immediately they take over governance. Anyway, the IMF has to GO one day. IMF is not impressive, in my view.
God bless Sierra Leone.
Finally, we have a credible government that doesn’t play “Hide and Seek” or “Cat and Mouse” games with the IMF. Credibility counts with regards to Bank loans, whether it’s personal Auto, credit cards, mortgages or government loans.
The lifetime leader of APC decided to steal our resources and declared “Austerity” rather than saving our nation.
The link below is the difference between the SLPP and the destructive APC within 4 years: