Sierra Leone Telegraph: 25 March 2020:
Yesterday, the leadership of the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB), presented a whopping Five Billion, One Hundred and Thirty Million, Forty-Six Thousand, Six Hundred and Thirty-Six Leones and Thirty-Six Cents (Le5,130,046,636.36) cheque to president Bio in lieu of dividend paid to the government as the sole owner of the Bank.
Financial Secretary at the Ministry of Finance, Sahr Lahai Jusu, said that for the first time in the last twelve years, the Bank is now able to pay dividend to the Government of Sierra Leone, the only shareholder of the Bank.
He noted that over the last two years, they have increased oversight of the operations of the Bank, both in respect of its governance and structure, and its increased management and operational roles.
The Chairman of the SLCB Board, Dr James David Rogers, said that although they are expected to pay dividend to government, the Bank has not been able to do so for quite some time.
He said that it is important that the Bank is able to pay dividends to the Government, as the Bank continues to increase its performance in the market place.
Receiving the cheque, president Bio said that he is pleased to have presided over an important occasion indicative of his government’s effective and efficient management of the state.
He said this achievement gives confidence to the nation that they could do it with the right political leadership, adding that he is pleased that the Bank has been able to take up the challenge.
“We hope this is the beginning of this trend and next year we will be able to make more money. I want to encourage you all to show the example and I am happy that we have inspired this sort of spirit. We want every other institution to emulate this example. We want to make this country a better place and we have to let our institutions work,” the president said.
Why is the government the only stockholder? Why is the public not involved? Something smells fishy.
“ The Chairman of the SLCB Board, Dr James David Rogers, said that although they are expected to pay dividend to government, the Bank has not been able to do so for quite some time.”
Does this mean the bank have in the past been paying dividends to the government but just have been unable to do so in the last several years due to financial crisis and poor management affecting the bank? If dividends have been paid in countless occasions in the past, why create the impression that this is the only time in the history of the bank that such event has taken place?
After days of chaos and mess all over the place, we can at least, be happy with the good news from the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank. Thanks to the leadership of the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank for their hard work. See how serious and calm the President was compared with the unserious and smiling faces of the Minister and his secretary. A picture is worth a thousand words. All smiling faces “miscalculating” how to chop the money unlawfully and without proper accountability.
I don’t trust these two men with that amount. Thank God, the President is the sole signatory to the government’s “All in One” Account. At least, the money will be safe for a while. God bless the said amount and help the ordinary Sierra Leonean benefit from it.