Parliament rejects president Bio’s request for his travel expenses to be written in finance law

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 19 December 2019:

Following debates in the Parliament of Sierra Leone this week, MPs on Wednesday 18th December 2019, approved the government’s Finance Bill entitled: “The Appropriation Act 2020” with major amendments, including the removal of a Clause intended to set the president’s foreign expenses into law.

The Appropriation Act 2020, gives authority to the government to spend from the Consolidated Revenue Fund for the 2020 financial year and to provide for other related matters.

In passing the Bill, Parliament granted the sum of Le8.6 Trillion to President Julius Maada Bio to run his government next year,   starting from 1st January.

According to the finance minister JJ Saffa, the government’s Budget for 2020 is aimed at addressing what he refers to as “bread and butter” issues, through job creation; micro-credit financing; raising the minimum wage to Le600, 000; providing salary increase for some public sector workers in April 2020; recruiting more teachers, health workers and police officers; start of salary payment to mayors and chairpersons of local and district councils, their deputies and core staff.

The government says that, overall, the 2020 Budget is seeking to consolidate and improve human capital development in the country.

Also in Parliament this week, MPs discovered that the Minister of Finance – Jacob Jusu Saffa, has overspent his ministerial budget by a whopping Le13 Billion (Leones) from the consolidated fund without the approval of Parliament, on various items such as overseas travelling.

This discovery was announced in parliament by the opposition APC MP – Lahai Marah.

Also, parliamentary proceedings came to a halt as the Speaker of Parliament abruptly stopped the debate, when  Dr Kandeh Yumkella MP, showed that the budget proposal of the Ministry of Finance was mysteriously increased from Le 58 billion to Le 82 billion without supporting documents.

Critics are saying that the Minister of Finance who requested unaccountable imprest for the President which has now been thrown out by MPs, now wants his own unaccounted expenditure of US$3.5 million without supporting documentation.

Also this week, the Bill entitled: “The Public Order (Amendment) Act 2019” was introduced and read the first time in Parliament. It was presented by the Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rahman Swaray.

The Bill is seeking to amend the Public Order Act of 1965 (Act No. 46 of 1965) by repealing Part V of the Act which deals with defamatory and seditious libel.  MPs have asked the Minister of Information and Communications to hold wider consultations with relevant stakeholders about the proposed amendments.

The Parliament of Sierra Leone is now adjourned to the 30th January 2020 for its Christmas and New Year’s break.

3 Comments

  1. President Bio will go down in history as the only leader that refuses to sign a blank check that was handed over to him, his Vice President and the Speaker of parliament, through the overwhelming votes by parliamentarians, with the exception of one SLPP member Honorable Ibrahim Tawa Conteh.

    President Bio has proven once again that he is a listener and always respected the voices of his people as was first demonstrated during his 3 months reign as the leader of our nation when he handed over power to a civilian government.
    May the Almighty continue to bless President Bio and Honorable Ibraham Tawa Conteh for putting the people of Sierra Leone first.

  2. Its now clear to me, the Minister of Finance takes great pleasure and delight in his erratic, irresponsible, abnormal habits of continuously compromising his integrity, and throwing into jeopardy the livelihoods of millions of starving poor, innocent citizens. How on earth does someone, anyone trusted with power and responsibility end up easily overspending a ministerial budget by a shocking 13 billion Leones? Robbery in broad daylight Saidu? Damn straight!

    Who would have thought or guessed that these self proclaimed religious monks were just another ragtag bunch of poorly educated thieves, out to fleece and milk the system dry? But is it true Saidu that he wanted to give his boss a blank cheque so that he could go on a spending spree abroad?

    Well my friend, thieves will always be thieves. That I know. Those who labor and toil very hard for their daily earnings, spend thriftily with prudence, caution and discretion. Again, Great Sayedna, why do you think JJ Saffa is unfit to be our nation’s Finance minister? Ever seen a beggar with holes in his pockets? That’s who he resembles. The man is an expert in the art of stupid, reckless mismanagement. (lol) My Goodness! while millions continue to suffer in poverty, hunger and thirst, it is alleged that this ignoramus could be seen proudly flushing our meagre revenues down the toilets and drains of unproductivity, using bundles of fresh Leones without regret or fear to wipe his filthy, disgusting, tribalistic hands. (lol)

    No wonder our currency has now been rendered totally worthless worldwide. Unfit he truly is, and shockingly incompetent. He has no clue, nor the slightest idea about sensible economics, prudent and responsible spending. Soon he will be wearing a badge as the IMF’s most delusional, naïve and gullible client…a crappy, goofy, inept economist that indulges himself tirelessly in high interest loans that will end up enslaving our children for generations to come….Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

  3. The Mr. GENTLEMAN MINISTER OF FINANCE as always in trouble. See how it was discovered that the GENTLEMAN MINISTER OF FINANCE was involved in overspending TAXPAYERS MONEY without ACCOUNTABILITY. As GOD would have it, the GENTLEMAN MINISTER OF FINANCE was OUTSMARTED by our very BRILLIANT OPPOSITION MEMBERS of PARLIAMENT. Should supporters like Mr. David Makevelii and Mr. Herman Ratnis now bow their heads in shame with this SCANDAL when faced with my ANNOYING CONDEMNATION of this INAPPROPRIATE FINANCIAL SCANDAL AND BEHAVIOR?

    I hope they come out and condemn this behavior before me and ask for forgiveness. Are they OK? I hope they do. If they don’t, I will make sure I put them on the DEFENSIVE because my OFFENSIVE attitude on this issue will be OVERWHELMING. That I will assure them. Whether it’s 419, shadow conspiracy or not. Look at the pictures provided. See how disappointed the President was compared to how TRIUMPHANT and HAPPY Dr. Yumkella was. What an embarrassment for the President provoked by the GENTLEMAN MINISTER OF FINANCE and his so called SHADOW SUPPORTERS. Do they agree with me that this GENTLEMAN MINISTER OF FINANCE must GO?!

    May GOD help our very HONEST and RESPONSIBLE PARLIAMENTARIANS and the ACC push for the EVIDENCE concerning our OVERSPENT money by the GENTLEMAN MINISTER OF FINANCE. Happy Christmas to everyone including the GENTLEMAN MINISTER OF FINANCE.

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