Sierra Leone Commences 2019 Budget Discussions

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J J Saffa Minister of Finance

The government of Sierra Leone has commenced hearings on the 2019 Financial Year Budget which has been proposed in the region of Le, 76.2 billion. The policy discussion is centralised this time on key priority sectors pitched in the campaign manifesto of the Sierra Leone People’s Party.

The Chief Minister called on all MDAs to focus their deliverable on the 32 commitment projects in President Bio’s manifesto.

He made this statement at the launch of the 2019 Financial Year Budget Hearing for Ministries Departments and Agencies, Wednesday September 12, 2018.

The launch which takes place at the Bank Complex, Kingtom brought together MDAs, Non State Actors, District Budget Oversight Committees, Civil Societies, the Media and Non-Governmental Organizations.

According to the Chief Minister, Professor David John Francis, the 32 projects in the 2018 election manifesto by the president are committed to changing and transforming the country.

He said Education; Economy; Agriculture; Health; Governance; Accountability and Corruption; Water and Security are the pointers that the government is going to attack to change the country.

He called on MDAs to focus on the eight pointers on their budget presentation.

The Financial Secretary Ministry of Finance, Sahr Lahai Jusu said the policy hearing is one of the ministry’s core values and the hub on devolution where ministries present their top priorities.

He said all MDAs should present their budgets based on the government’s priority projects.

SAHR-JUSU

Mr. Jusu said they are going to engage all government parastatals to discuss how they mobilise revenue and rationalization of expenditure and as a ministry, they have developed core values, strategic plans for the next five years.

The Deputy Chairman Parliamentary Committee on Finance, Hon Moses Edwin, said the state budget of 2019 should be laid in the well of parliament on the last Friday of October this year. He encouraged MDAs to present budget activities that are of benefits to the people.

The Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Nabeela Tunis said they have presented the draft outline plan to the people for a national ownership of the document.

The Minister of Finance, Jacob Jusu Saffa said the financial policy will focus on improving revenue mobilization, and that is why a national monitoring agency is going to be established.

He said an automated system is going to be introduced to make revenue generation easier. He said local councils are going to account for the revenue they generate for them not to depend on the central government budget. They are also going to reduce the expenses on vehicle maintenance and fuel cost for government vehicles

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Abu Bakarr Tarawally is a Journalist based in Freetown. He works for the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation as a radio producer. He has once served as Editor for a few newspapers in Freetown, including Sierra Express Media, The Exclusive Newspaper and his own newspaper, the Daily Express Publications. He is a teacher trainer, and loves writing and reading a lot. Email: abstarawally@gmail.com. Call +232 88601277 or +2327661303.

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