Parliament yesterday approved an Act to authorize expenditure from the consolidated funds for the services of Sierra Leone at both national and international levels for the year 2008.
The deputy Minister of Finance, Development and Economic Planning, Momoudu Kargbo, in a systematic order, yesterday gave a rundown of the appropriation bill 2008 for the allocation of funds to the various government ministries, departments and embassies abroad. He said the allocation was part of the schedule.
Debating on the Le 228,200 000 000 allocation, Mani Bett Priddy of the APC noted that government was indebted to several people working in Sierra Leone’s diplomatic mission abroad.
He enquired whether part of the allocation would be used to pay off those that would be recalled home before sending new appointees.
Another APC member of parliament, Victoria Saidu Kamara, described Sierra Leone’s embassies abroad as deplorable. She cited the Sierra Leone embassies in Washington, Germany and High Commission in London as deplorable, adding that one would be ashamed of identifying him/herself with those deplorable missions.
She pleaded with the government to pay attention to workers in the diplomatic missions abroad in terms of accommodation and other remunerations. Paramount chief Kanagbaro Sanka III, observed that foreigners dominated the mining industry in Sierra Leone by buying and selling diamonds without taking cognizance of the Government Gold and Diamond Office. “98% of miners in Sierra Leone are foreigners with no bank account,” he said. On profiteering, he explained that these foreigners bought diamonds in Sierra Leone as reasonable as $ 10,000 and sold them abroad for over $ 500,000.
By Solomon Rogers