Sierra Leone’s Jet-setting Government: A comedy of budgetary errors

Dr Doma: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 16 November 2023:

Amidst Sierra Leone’s wild economic changes, where taxes have skyrocketed faster than a caffeinated monkey climbing a tree, there’s a new comedy act in town – the government’s overseas travel expenses.

Forget stand-up comedians; our leaders are taking centre stage with a wallet-lightening performance that has the public both amused and bewildered.

President Julius Maada Bio seems to be on a mission to collect more passport stamps than a globetrotting flamingo.

In his second term, the overseas travel expenses have shot up like a rocket on caffeine. Now, you might wonder if our president is chasing frequent flyer miles for a secret cosmic vacation club.

World Bank’s warning for the government to curtial unecessary public spending to avoid sending the economy into meltdown, has fallen on deaf ears.

The government’s Annual Financial Report reads like a tragicomedy script. While taxes on essentials are giving citizens financial acrobatics to perform, the government’s overseas travel budget is practicing its own high-flying routine.

President Bio’s government has so far spent over Le180 Billion on overseas traveling. In 2022, he and his government spent Le87, after spending Le21 Billion in 2021, leaving Sierra Leoneans wondering whether the national budget has got wings, they did not know about.

Comparing the numbers is like watching a surreal sitcom. In 2020, the government’s  spending on overseas travels was Le27.48 billion.

Finance Minister, Ahmed Fantamadi Bangura, recently took the stage in Parliament, expressing his own version of financial stand-up comedy. With a straight face (almost), he highlighted the urgent need for a balanced act between making money and spending it.

It’s like advising someone on a tightrope to juggle while tap-dancing – challenging but supposedly possible.

Ahmed Fantamadi Bangura, in his financial comedy routine, stressed that mastering fiscal discipline is the key to turning this economic tragi-comedy into a rom-com.

Imagine Sierra Leone’s economy as a quirky rom-com – quirky because we didn’t see this twist coming, and rom-com because, well, we’re all in it together, for better or for worse.

So, as we go through this financial funhouse, let’s hope our leaders take a crash course in budgetary slapstick. After all, laughter might be the best medicine, but a well-balanced budget is a close second in these times of economic humour and financial mistakes.



  1. What a wonderful, logical and philosophical piece, Mr. Dauda Yillah. It is a philosopher, Mark Manson, who writes : “Get to know your limitations and accept them. This is the real source of empowerment. Once you embrace your fears, faults, and uncertainties–once you stop running from and avoiding, and start confronting painful truths–you can begin to find the courage and confidence we desperately seek.”

    SLPP sycophants and spin masters want us to live an illusory, delusional, imaginary, intangible world where we refuse to face our fears, apprehension, doubts, hurts and deprivation and try to solve them. We must always pretend that “Oh, things are not as bad as we think after all and our fears and hurts are in the hands of capable people working in our interest,” when it is not so. Who in his right mind would delude himself with the deceitful feeling that all is going well in Sierra Leone ? What rational thinker would deceive himself into believing that Maada Bio and his topsy-turvey criminal band of SLPP hoodlums, thieves and nation-wreckers are working to correct the ills in our country ?

    When SLPP gravy-seekers, bootlickers and sycophants are not trying to bully you into false hopes, they are trying to browbeat you into accepting false equivalents : ” Oh,APC did the same or worse things.” So you must stop thinking because your predecessors did not handle it right, either? These are men and women born and nurtured in a country that once prided itself as the Athens of West Africa ! ! ! What a shame.

    Is it any wonder that today Liberia stripped us off all veneer of respect and shamed us by demonstrating how distantly they have overtaken us ? . While we are wallowing in backwardness, criminal governance, blood-spilling, bully pulpits, false narratives, shameless cover-ups and scandalous incivility, the Liberians went and showed us that they have moved streets ahead of us in the promotion of democracy and peace consolidation as a post-conflict country.

    While we have a conscienceless barbarian and criminal traveling all over the world on useless, vainglorious trips as head of state and followers no better than him stealing elections and justifying it with a straight, shameless face, Liberia has conducted one of the best elections in Africa, in which a sitting president was actually beaten, and to crown it all, the president called the opposition leader and conceded defeat and congratulated him for his victory.

    I am sure Maada Bio, Mohamed Konneh, David Sengeh, Korthor Juldeh, Abass Bundu , Prince Harding and all the criminals who participated in the broad daylight robbery in Sierra Leone are this moment wiping eggs off their miserable faces. Liberia put us to shame and even demonstrated that they are more civilized than us. But wait and see how the demented SLPP rabid sycophants will cast it. It is APC’s fault. Everything is APC’s fault. They stopped thinking when Infa Allie gave them victory in 2018.

    I am very thankful to God for the wisdom he is providing me not to allow my life to be controlled by men (?) and oh, women who think while standing on their heads ! ! !

    Our nation is doomed, seriously doomed, especially because of the kinds of citizens we have . We need a redeemer and very fast.

  2. What a well-written, delicious read! Indeed, Bio’s endless globetrotting and his government’s financial theatrics have something of the farcical, worthy of a stand-up comedy. And such globetrotting and theatrics would constitute a supremely comical and entertaining spectacle were it not for their irredeemably tragic real-life implications for ordinary people and their families.

    We have here a leader and a government whose modus vivendi and operandi can be summed up in a single phrase: mindless profligacy – callously, or rather, pathologically mismanaging and wasting the country’s limited financial resources to fund an immorally hedonistic, sybaritic lifestyle.

    Surely, with Bio and his kleptocratic clique at the helm, ‘the beautyful ones’ to rephrase the Ghanaian author Armah’s words, ‘are yet to be born’ in our beloved homeland.

    One commentator recently accused some forumites including me of possessing a negative, illogical mindset, urging us to adopt its opposite – a logical and positive one – and to thus trust the process of national self-regeneration that is according to him under way in Sierra Leone.

    I would urge that blinkered commentator to read this piece as it is for his own good to renounce his spurious logic and facile optimism and see Bio and his government for what they truly are: a bunch of hyperactive clowns masquerading as rulers, at the expense of our country and people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.