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Highlights of the Reading of the Supplementary Appropriation Budget 2018 in Parliament on July 13th 2018

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Mofed Admin

Thursday, 19 July 2018 14:44
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Minister of Finance, Jacob Jusu Saffa arrived in the Well of Parliament on Friday, 13th July 2018 to read the Supplementary Appropriation Budget in a resplendent flowing gown that epitomized the renewed hope he was going to give Sierra Leoneans under the aegis of the New Direction Development Agenda headed by His Excellency President Brig (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio.

Parliament was already full with Members of haven taken to their seats awaiting the Honourable Speaker. In the meantime, Minister Saffa socialized with senior Members of the House as an indication of the rapprochement needed at the time.

A battery of senior and middle-level staff of the Ministry of Finance was in attendance to boost the confidence of their Minister.

In the usual methodical tradition of presenting Bills in Parliament for the consideration of Members of Parliament to debate on and later ratify, Minister Saffa followed suit through First Reading, Second Reading, then into Committee Stage and so on and so forth.

In his introduction, the Minister studiously took his audience through the path the new Government has traversed to reach to the Supplementary Bill, pointing out that it is “a People’s Budget” as it seeks to cushion the adverse effects of an IMF conditionality to remove subsidy on fuel. He explained that the Budget primarily focuses on the President’s flagship social development priority, which is education, but insists that inasmuch as that is the focus, the budget also address certain basic peoples’ needs, which is why he described the budget as “a budget with a human face”.

Here are some of the key highlights of the Supplementary Appropriation Bill read out by Minister of Finance, Jacob Jusu Saffa in the Well of Parliament:

  • That Government of Sierra Leone has will procurement 50 new School Buses.The Buses will be managed by City Councils on cost recovery basis as part of measures aimed at mitigating the impact of fuel price increase.
  • A 10 percent increase on salaries of lower cadre civil servants from Grades 1 to 6 to include, Civil Servants, Teachers, Police, Military, Correctional Services and National Fire Authority as transport allowance.
  • Over 49 thousand Government workers, which accounts for 71 percent of the public sector work force are expected to benefit from the increase costing government Le 24.6 billion for the second half of the year.
  • That prices of petroleum products have been reviewed from Le 6,000 to Le 8,000 effective from Friday 13th July, 2018.

It could be recalled that removing Government subsidy on fuel has been a longstanding issue with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) being one of the institution’s conditions for budgetary support to the country. This discussion started last year, with the former Government dragging feet over the issue. This led to the suspension of much needed budgetary support by the IMF.

 

Meanwhile, earlier on Thursday, 12th July 2018, successfully defended in Parliament the 2018 Finance Act, making him the first as Minister of Finance to achieve the feat of passing a Finance Act ahead of the Appropriation Bill expenditures it is to guide and guard.

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The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development is a Key arm of the Government of Sierra Leone mandated to to formulate and implement sound economic policies and public financial management

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