IMF economic stimulus and Sierra Leone government’s New Direction trajectory – Op ed

Umaru Napoleon Koroma: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 3 December 2018:

The SLPP government under the astute leadership of His Excellency the President Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio has just last week got an economic stimulus of a staggering $171.5m from the International Monetary Fund or IMF.

As an immediate measure $21.5m is to be dispatched without further delay while the remaining cash will be spread over a 36 month period.

This is good news for all Sierra Leoneans who mean well for themselves and the country. As the ruling party, we are particularly proud of the strides of our government, and the cash injection by the IMF is testimony of the government’s fiscal discipline demonstrated so far in its 8 months of taking over power.

It is important to note that Sierra Leone had lost track of the IMF’s extended credit facility since 2017 under the previous administration and the global body had locked us out. The consequences of that were far reaching on our creeping economy.

At the time, the SLPP took over earlier this year, the economic outlook was gloomy with slow growth and rising Inflation.

The previous government’s failure or deliberate refusal to institute measures to checkmate the glum despite the imposition of an economic austerity which turned out to be mere lip service, meant the country was in financial quandary.

The lost glory which the previous administration placed on the entire country, is gradually being recovered by the government of President Bio.

The SLPP’s New Direction manifesto promised to bring sanity and sound economic management of the country. That a body like the IMF has agreed to inject such huge sums of money into our country is proof of matching words by actions.

Every Sierra Leonean should be hopeful that indeed a new dawn has arrived. We must now focus on the benefits of such stimulus to our country, and put out the party lens that we often wear in approaching national issues.

We must be expectant of better infrastructure, sound education and prudent fiscal management, alongside the provision of several other services that had been lacking.

We want to thank His Excellency the President Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, the Minister of Finance Honourable Jacob Jusu Saffa, the Financial Secretary Mr. Sahr Jusu and the rest of the economic team for a job well done.

The development of Sierra Leone is at the core of the SLPP manifesto, and we will not relent in working towards it.

About the author

Umaru Napoleon Koroma is the Secretary General of the ruling SLPP government and chairman of the National Commission for Privatisation.

2 Comments

  1. I’m sure that the international body that is responsible for consistently rating Sierra Leone as the least developed country in the world, are not doing it on purpose just to humiliate us but it’s just a fact and they have no better way to say it but just to call it as it is.

    Unfortunately most Sierra Leoneans do not have an opportunity to travel and the few that have the opportunity – mostly our leaders, don’t have the will power or fire in their guts to copy the examples of some developing countries in Africa in order of development and fiscal discipline.

    But this time around I hope and pray that this new leadership with the help of God and the cooperation of the people of Sierra Leone will change the continued image of humiliation, as the least developed country of the world.

    I believe Rwanda after their war was given only one opportunity which they valued and embraced; that’s why they are Africa’s success story, so I hope Sierra Leone will take this probably fifth opportunity and change the narrative.

  2. Abdul,

    What are you talking about man? Please stop this sensationalistic media presentation on issues like this. This furthers the dumbing down of our people and promotes the mindset of dependence upon western nations and organizations for aids and handouts.

    It’s like if we don’t get aids from western entities we can’t survive or do anything productive? Considering all the resources we have, we should be loaning to these people and not the other way around.

    Instead of the government focusing on how they can utilize the potential of the nation to activate an economy that can be sustained, they’re hell-bent on the misguided believe that taking loan from IMF aka International Monitoring Fund and other entities will restore the country’s glory. This type of practice should not be the epitome of good governance.

    As the Bible says in Jeremiah 2:3 “Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love? Therefore hast thou also taught the wicked ones thy ways”

    Stop trying to get approval from people who don’t give a damn about you or what you do.

    Here’s something to think on, why the heck do you think the IMF advised Sierra Leone or should I say President Bio not to accept the loan that was initially offered by China? Damn right, they know the game at play. Our misleaders are the ones who don’t know anything about anything that’s going on.

    All the western powers and China an emerging economic giant are trying to secure their position or should I say perpetual hegemonization (in the case of the Europeans) as was discussed in 1884 (the Berlin conference). Also you may be somewhat familiar with the neocolonialism project.

    Observe the trend, the issuing of high loans to African nations has escalated to a new height. Think about it, how much you thing IMF will receive in return? Don’t even worry about payments because Sierra Leone will never be able to pay that loan back and they know it. So what do you think it’s going happen then when you can’t pay or Default on the loan? I’ll leave that for you to think on it.

    And what glory did Sierra Leone lost? You cannot lost something you have never had. This IMF loan is more of a good news bad news situation. Good news for the government who is trying to appeal to its European masters and fatten the pockets of its stakeholders and bad news for the poor sierra Leoneans who will have to pay the loan back decades to come.

    What the heck is new about this? Is this not the normal practice of African nations? Every government that comes in power engages in similar practice and at the end of the day, what does it produce for the country? Dilapidated infrastructure and debt swamped country.

    Please focus on reporting the news and not trying to dictate to your readers. Good reporting educates readers and get them to think. As president Nana Akufo-addo said and I’m paraphrasing, we want a Sierra Leone that’s free of aids and handouts.

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