The Budget presentation of the Road Maintenance Fund Authority (RMFA) has showed that the Administration recorded Le4.3 billion (Le4,361,165,832) as against the transfer figures of the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA) of Le5.4 billion (Le5,436,055.41) actuals for 2018. These figures are in variance with what is recorded in the books of the two institutions and it also showed that for the first six months of 2019, SLRSA last week presented that they transferred Le2.6 billion as against RMFA’s receipt of Le1.6 billion. The lead facilitator from the Ministry of Finance, Alpha Bangura replied that it may be a reconciliation issue and that when the monies are paid it takes time. “I want to urge RMFA that for subsequent presentations they should ensure that they reconcile with SLRSA” he said. This variance was raised by Awoko Newspaper after the presentation of the Deputy Chief Executive Officer Bashir Sherriff from the RMFA. Bangura who is the Director of PIP went further to state that the Act of both institutions are in contradiction as the primary argument is how much should SLRSA remit to RMFA.
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The SLRSA Act says after they have deducted operating cost inclusive of their development programs, they will then give a certain percentage to RMFA from the balance. “This does not make economic sense, so the Act needs to be looked at as they are one of your major contributors” Bangura advised. Another contributor from the plenary, Charles Mambu stressed that the issue raised by Awoko is something they have been requesting for the last five years. “We have been sending that request to the Ministry of Finance and you have not looked at it, but again to enrich these presentations and to avoid these arguments between MDAs make sure you cluster MDAs according to their mandate. If you continue to bring them on separate days there will be a lot of contradictions” he advised. In his presentation, Deputy CEO Sheriff said that the primary challenge they are faced with SLRSA is that they are yet to provide a comprehensive data to track all vehicle registration because there is no set formula how many contributions they are to make to RMFA. “These funds are collected on behalf of RMFA and when you ask them they will tell you that we are just going to give 10 percent but there is no data to show how many vehicles are actually coming in per year and registered. We have tried a couple of times and we are still struggling with that. Chairman we don’t have any information for now, they just give us what they feel like giving … that is yet to be looked into” he explained. Another constraint faced by the RMFA is that the provisions within the three Acts of SLRSA Act 2007, RMFA Act 2010 and SLRTA and Road Traffic Act 1997 appears to conflict each other as they have presented challenges towards revenue generation. “There is a role conflict, if you look at the various Acts there is conflict there, we are still struggling with that. We have met with the Parliamentary Works Committee to review these legal documents” he said.
By Zainab Iyamide Joaque
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