The Minister of Finance and Economic Development David Carew has expressed disappointment and frustration over the manner in which the past SLPP government recklessly spent taxpayer’s money and donor funds which is responsible for the current starvation of the national budget.
The Minister disclosed that the APC Government is financially handicapped and they are operating a cash strapped budget for the smooth running of government administration “we are running the country with meager taxes and other revenues collected” he lamented.
He added that, government is not getting any donor support from the international community, and development partners towards the budget which is making it very difficult for the government to rapidly improve the living standards of the people.
Minster Carew said that, donors are only supporting capacity building programs for the recovery and consolidation of peace in Sierra Leone and all funds meant for the support of the budget has been suspended by the IMF and the International Community
The APC inherited a starved budget from the SLPP government who misappropriated donor funds meant for the people, and they also failed to account for monies they spent on the budget and developmental projects. David Carew also expressed disappointment over the huge debt that the SLPP left on the government, mentioning the exorbitant amount that government owe contractors alone, which he said is over a trillion Leones. He lamented that the government is presently sued at an ECOWAS Court in Abuja for failing to honor bills.
He maintained that the budget was virtually empty and the only available fund was the peace building fund and it is that money the APC government is now using to pay for the running cost of the NPA generators for the provision of electricity in the city.
The Minister also intimated that, the protracted starvation of the budget from getting funds from the International Community and the International Monetary Fund will soon be a thing of the past as necessary modalities are currently being worked out for the lifting of the suspension on Sierra Leone.
He added that the International Community has been helping the country with funds, but noted that some of the funds are very little and inadequate to fund some of the priority projects government plans to implement for the rapid development of the country “we are not relying on $5 to 10million donations from abroad but we want money that can be used for the rapid development of the country” he stressed. He also highlighted some of the progress and challenges the ministry is facing in terms of getting money and spend it for the day to day running of government administration, he called on the public to promptly pay their taxes and advise government officials to stop misusing government and donor funds.
The Minister was speaking over the APC radio.
By Saidu Bah