It were the turn of the Establishment Secretary, the managing director at the national petroleum company, the director of trade and the government printer to give their stewardship to the people of Sierra Leone on fuel hike, leave and retirement of civil servants.
The Establishment Secretary, Julius Sandy, touched on some 240 so-called civil servants from all sectors who never turned up for verification to authenticate their documents.
He said the 240 would be retired with their names deleted from the Accountant General’s pay roll for the simple reason that in the political past most of those sent on retirement under the age limit of 60 years might either manipulate their way back or salaries continued to run unstop.
Mr Sandy added that as vote comptroller and chief documentary officer of the government of Sierra Leone, he ensured the enrollment, recruitment, training, promotion, transfer, and record management of civil servants.
Giving a rundown of civil servants in Sierra Leone, he said 70,597,000 were on government’s payroll with over Le18 billion monthly wage bill. And that the military, police and teachers etc constituted huge percentage of the workforce that also claimed millions of Leones as wage bill.
He confirmed that 622 retirement letters had already been issued to those who had attained retirement age of 60. “Excess labour would be taken care of”, he said.
Some departments, he said, had two vehicles with over ten drivers. He said, “over the years capacity building for civil servants had been uncoordinated and unproductive”, adding that civil servants were in dire need of capacity building and a better condition of service to improve on their services.
The Establishment Secretary concluded that a national policy for training had already been drafted for cabinet approval.
The director of Trade in the ministry of Trade and Industry, Christian Macauley, noted that because of the free market economy in Sierra Leone the ministry hadn’t got the mandate to effect a price control but only monitor and advise business people to tag their prices.
He revealed that, “pre-shipment inspection is no longer under my ministry and therefore I have no statistics of what come and go out of the country”.
The Managing Director of the National Petroleum Unit, Dan Manson, explained that since 1999 the Unit had been transformed from donor supported to one of private sector with an input of petroleum companies in collaboration with the ministry of Trade and Industry. For the past nine months, he said, government had been able to stabilize fuel price but the global hike in crude oil had warranted the recent increase in fuel prices from 5% to 7%”.