The Commissioner General of the National Revenue Authority Alieu Sesay has remarked at a press conference that it was no crime for people to succeed in life.
The NRA boss was yesterday reacting to a press report that he is building himself two mansions after serving just thirteen months as Commissioner General of the National Revenue Authority (NRA).
He said he thought he had not committed any crime if he was a very successful young man whilst stating that after graduating in 1995, he had worked and have worked in the best institution in the world for which he had earned income far more than what people could imagine.
Addressing the issues he said he did not only see himself as an ambassador for the country but an ambassador for integrity. Qualifying why he was supposed to own a decent house he said “I have a right to live in a very decent accommodation and when I work, I work to make use of my money… but I don’t waste my money, I save my money and invest my money”.
He denied allegations that he was building two houses but admitted that he was only building himself one house whilst the other house was not his but the one he built for his father at the time he was at the Ministry of Finance. The house he admitted he was building was started when he and his wife were at Fourah Bay College for twelve years. “She was working for the University hospital whilst I was lecturing but the rent we were paying was next to nothing so I had to save that money”.
He also explained that he had two jobs at the same time after leaving the University, teaching at Lebanese School and working at Alliance Housing and Finance Company and thereafter in April 1997, he said he got a job with the African Development Bank as an economist in the economic policy research unit of the Ministry of Finance “and at that time I was paid $500 and the project was a public sector management support at the time and we were one of the few guys who were paid in dollars in this country”.
Explaining further how he got his money, Alieu Sesay said in September he got a scholarship to study in Ghana for two years where he was receiving per diem and also went to Kenya for four months where he also received more per diem. When he returned in 1999, he disclosed his salary was increased to $700 per month “what they used to pay us in the ministry of finance is the UN rate plus 25% of the UN rate so I got more in terms of allowance than anybody that worked for the UN and they gave me one day before and one day after and I spent ten years in the Ministry of Finance”.
After that period he continued that in the year 2000 the World Bank took over the public sector management and in that programme his salary was $2,000 coupled with the consultancies he said he did for UNDP and DDR “I know how much I made”.
From there he explained further that he got a World Bank scholarship to do a joint Masters degree in Public policy and Taxation, in Ghana. It was an M. Phil degree in Economics, majoring in policy analysis and econometrics “it was the best scholarship in the rest of the World and my allowance was ¥185,500 which is about $2,000 a month and I spent 24 hours studying for which my expenditure was less than $250 a month”.
When again he said he returned he joined the European Union Project as revenue specialist and later Director revenue tax policy for which he was paid $1,750 per month from the EU and as Director earned $3,000 in the Ministry of Finance. He said he worked from July 2005- October 2005 before he got a job at the West African Monetary institute in Ghana for which his net salary was $5,000. “My present net salary is $6,000 and I don’t eat more than $1,500 a month” he said By Ishmael Bayoh