Sierra Leone Telegraph: 15 April 2021:
US ambassador to Sierra Leone, Mr. David Reimer on Tuesday, met with Sierra Leone’s Minister of Finance, Jacob Jusu Saffa at his ministry’s office in Freetown. The meeting forms part of the US Ambassador’s wider engagement with senior government officials, civil society organisations and other stakeholders in the country.
They discussed the bilateral relationship between the United States of America and Sierra Leone, the MCC Compact development and the Government’s policies and programmes, as well as strategies aimed at strengthening bilateral economic ties.
“The two countries have and continue to enjoy very solid relationship and it’s getting better,” says Mr. David Reimer.
He expressed his commitment to support the Government in the development and potential implementation of the Millennium Challenge Cooperation (MCC) compact programme.
Mr Reimer said that he is delighted to meet with the Minister of Finance to learn about the policy direction and programmes of the new direction Government. The relationship between the two countries is on very solid footing, he said.
In his response, the Minister of Finance Jacob Jusu Saffa welcomed the Ambassador to Sierra Leone. He reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to fighting corruption and the implementation and completion of the MCC compact.
He also emphasized the significance of internal audit and the imperative to strengthen the regulatory, policy, legal and institutional framework for internal audit.
Minister Saffa further explained the big policy shift in agriculture to increase food production, where the Government has enhanced the participation of the private sector in providing agricultural inputs through the e-voucher system and the provision of over 400 machinery and farm equipment towards the sector.
Mr Saffa also spoke about his government’s effort to revive the economy through rebuilding the country’s image with development partners, promoting small and medium enterprises – implementation of the “Munafa” Fund, restoring critical infrastructure (Water and Energy) in district headquarter towns and increase domestic revenue mobilisation through automation of the tax system.
Commenting on the increase in revenue mobilization, the Minister said that the driving forces have been “enforcement and compliance with tax laws as well as automation of the processes and procedures”.
The Government, he said, is deepening the automation process through installation of electronic cash registers across the country, as well as installation and implementation of the integrated tax administration system, web-based ASYCUDA World and the automation of duty waiver system.
Ambassador David Reimer was appointed ambassador to Sierra Leone on 19th January 2021. He was recently in a similar capacity in Mauritius and Seychelles.
First things first – Welcome to our beautiful majestic Sierra Leone one of Mother Nature’s geological breathtaking masterpieces. Please allow me the honor Ambassador David Reimer to quickly introduce the peace loving people of my little beloved country to Sir; My people are a loving,kindhearted,welcoming people that will give you the shirt off their backs if they have to;They are like flowers that give out their sweet fragrances happily to butterflies and like
Nightingales totally lost in ecstasy that would never cease to sing throughout the darkest nights because of a strong desire to create and sing nothing but the sweetest melodies ever heard by the listening ear.
Now on behalf of the poor people of Sierra Leone I would like to reintroduce our Finance Minister to you Sir; I dedicate this moment to the deaf lame man crawling on bare hands without a wheelchair and the blind beggar without a loving guide roaming the scorching streets of Freetown begging for alms.The Finance Minister is an abject and total failure – an amateur lacking the skills, dedication and morale to create policies that would solve even the most basic needs of our people. I call him the ” Hangman” because that’s who he is; He’s been strangling our people to death with his half baked, poorly implemented ill advised policies since they took over the reins of power. And its gets worse – the rampant thefts by Public officials including the President and his wife were all facilitated by JJ ” The Hangman” Saffa. Do not
flinch or blink in his presence because he has been aiding and abetting theft,financial crimes behind the scenes. A total loser is who he is.
If you give your children pocket money, sometimes you demand to know where they are spending that money especially if they keep coming back to you demanding more. Ambassador David Reimer is no stranger to African politics. As the article suggests, he was formerly serving in Mauritius and the Seychelles. Before the covid19 pandemic hits, two of African countries that were rising stars in respect of setting the pace for economic growth. Ambassador David Reimer, just like every Sierra Leonean will find it hard to get his head round as to why Sierra Leone is rich on paper but poor in the real economic sense. Compared to these two Islands in East Africa that depends on fishing and tourism, that have political leadership with the determination to develop and deliver for their people.
He looks at Sierra Leone and ask himself the question, why is this country underperforming in terms of harnessing their God given natural resources to lift their people out of porverty. Instead you have a government that has no sense of direction, engage in the worst form of corrupt practices, that will make Sani Abacha and Mobutu look like small time crooks in their company. He comes to Sierra Leone, and see a country blessed with all sorts of natural resources, diamonds, gold, oil, bauxite, iron ore, a tropical rain forest, a savy and young industrious population. On the negative side, he sees an oppressive regime, that is always out looking for a fight with opposition politicians, a security service that is out of control, a deluge of corruption cases, and soon he concludes to himself – this is why Sierra Leone is still asking for international financial assistance.
And rightly so Mr Ambassador. We have politicians that are only interested in themselves and stoking tribal tension in the country. And that is exactly the question he wants to ask our Finance Minister Mr Saffa. Its about time he has a word with these way ward corrupt politicians. But do to it by diplomatic niceties, he will not ask him the question why are you guys rich in everything under the sun, but still want to be part of the US administration MCC program? This programme Mr Saffa is for poorer countries tbat don’t have the sort of resource that Sierra Leone has. Mr Minister, its about time you and your government pull yourself together. You’ve been in government for three years. Stop blaming the past government. The buck stops with Bio not EBK.