The Minister of Finance, Jacob Jusu Saffa, has confirmed government’s efforts towards ensuring that by end of 2021, the country’s inflation rate remains at 10.5 per cent, which he said would bring the inherited inflation down from 17.5 per cent after the elections to a decrease of 7 per cent by this new administration.
He was speaking at government’s weekly press briefing at the Ministry of Information and Communication conference hall in Freetown yesterday, Thursday 8th April 2021.
Minister Jacob Jusu Saffa said despite the global impacts of COVID-19 on economies, Sierra Leone has been able to spend $40 million on all government activities including ensuring a steady flow of supply chain, payment of salaries, recruitment of health workers, teachers, improvement on salaries and wages bills, among others.
The minister disclosed that government also injected $50 million to ensure citizens don’t experience what he called a “shortage in the supply of comodities.” He said the productivity rate in the agriculture sector has increased with the involvement of private partners through a policy shift. He said it was all possible as a result of government’s revenue mobilisation skills, as revenue was generated to stop the burden of borrowing from the central bank.
On the foreign exchange rate, the minister said stability variables are under control as over the past 18 months, the country has enjoyed a stable working foreign exchange rate, but due to its variability, they are working towards a good stabilisation. He revealed that the country’s reserves was 3.5 months of inputs, but with prudent fiscal discipline, government is now boastful of having nearly 5 months reserves, all of which was possible as a result of the way and manner they have been using the nation’s foreign reserves in support of foreign exchange, support to imports, among others.
Jacob Jusu Saffa said for the first time in the country’s history, Paramount Chiefs are now on salaries along with an additional 10 auxilary chiefdom staff in 190 chiefdoms nationwide, all of which was possible as a result of what he said was the “demonstration of government on track in the area of implementation of a people centered fiscal policy.”
He said that a majority of the districts can now boast of having a functional Tec-Voc, all of which were designed as part of the process towards building the human capital of this nation irrespective of age, region, political affilation, or tribe.
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