Sierra Leone Telegraph: 14 November 2017
Sierra Leone has once again failed to achieve the minimum requirements to qualify for hundreds of millions of dollars in US government funding through the Millennium Challenge Compact, as the government continues to fail to curb rampant corruption and poor governance.
According to a press statement published by the Millennium Challenge Coordinating Unit in Freetown, only 10 out of a total score of 20 was achieved this year.
The government’s progress in curbing corruption fell from 0.03 points (53%) above the average last year, to a low score of 0.01 points (49%) below average this year.
This may not come as a surprise for the majority of Sierra Leoneans, who regard Sierra Leone as one of the most corrupt nations in the world.
In 2007 when the ruling APC party was elected to office, they promised to tackle corruption, but have instead legitimise the culture of corruption in high places.
In 2007 president Koroma promised the people of Sierra Leone that there will be no sacred cows in his government and that anyone caught misappropriating public funds will face justice. Only low level officials have been successfully indicted and convicted for corruption.
Several government departments and agencies have failed to submit their annual accounts to the national audit office for auditing, despite warnings from the audit office.
Millions of dollars meant for those dying of the Ebola virus have still not been accounted for. Those thought to be responsible by the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission are yet to face justice., many are ruling party members.
Millions of dollars collected after the recent disastrous mudslide are yet to be accounted for, as scholarships meant for poor Muslims going to Mecca were sold to line up the pockets of government officials and their agents.
The 2018 scorecard shows Sierra Leone passing on five of the indicators, including gender in the economy, health expenditure, immunization rates, trade policy and rule of law.
The US Ambassador to Sierra Leone – Maria Brewer commenting on Sierra Leone’s performance, said: “I congratulate the Government of Sierra Leone on its dramatic increase in the number of indicators passed in this recent scorecard.
“This result is the testament to the hard work and dedication of the Government of Sierra Leone to making these key improvements, which will ultimately benefit the lives of all Sierra Leoneans.
“We encourage the Government of Sierra Leone to continue to strengthen their efforts in all of these areas, particularly the commitment to good governance, rule of law, and combatting the scourge of corruption.
“We continue to work together on a US$44 million Threshold Program, and look forward to our continued successful partnership.”
For more information on the Scorecard; please visit the MCC website at: www.mcc.gov