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MoFED/NSA Secretariat launches Citizen's Budget

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Friday, 31 July 2015 16:13
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The Non -State Actors Secretariat in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has on Friday July 31st 2015, launched the Citizen's Budget at the Main Conference Room of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

Launching the Citizen's Budget Minister of Finance and Economic Development Dr Khaifala Marah, said the Citizen's Budget will help citizen's to be informed about what Government plans to achieve in 2015 in Revenue and Expenditure projections while acknowledging the hard work and commitment of the NSA working Group which comprises a team of Civil Society Organizations and technical staff from the Budget Bureau, Local Government Finance Department, the Economic policy Research Unit, the Tax and Revenue Policy Unit and the Public Financial Management Reforms Unit for preparing the document. He extended special thanks to the Financial Secretary for his role in supporting the completion and publication of the document.

Dr Marah noted that the citizen's budget is not new to many of the participants, stating that the efforts to prepare and published the citizen's guide budget will not complete if it is not distributed in order to make it available to the participants as the medium of communication to the public and to the civil society partners, as representatives of the voice and interest of the general citizens.

The Finance Minister pointed out that the Citizen's budget is expected to serve the useful purpose for which it was intended. He informed the Non- State Actors that they have an important role to play to educate and to inform the public on government's fiscal operation. He said it is their expectation that by making this document available , everybody will come on board and participate to make the budget implementation a success.

He said it is widely recognized that civil society play important roles in governance processes of any nation, making it clear that over the years, they have witnessed the important contribution of non- state actors in supporting the Government and the Ministry in the national Budgetary preparation process by playing an active role in budget hearing discussions since the budget was enacted and together discussed ways to support the budget implementation processes.

He pointed out that the document which his Ministry is distributing to the participants, provides information on budgetary performance for the previous year and how Government intends to mobilize and spend public resources in the current financial year. He said it is also in fulfillment of His Excellency the President's commitment to ensure that citizens are informed about the programmes and activities of the Government and how public funds are utilized in line with Activity - based Budgeting System.

The Minister of Finance added that the Ebola Crisis continues to ravage the socio- Economic, political and cultural life of the nation , and has severely disrupted the country's collective journey to a middle Income Country status by 2035. He maintained that the budget this year responds to contain the epidemic , achieve and maintain zero infections and restore the path to our socio- economic recovery and prosperity.

He hoped that the simple guide will help the public to participate in budget preparation and implementation, and to hold Government to account. Director of Budget Bureau in the Ministry of Finance Matthew Dingie, said the issues of Citizen's rights was properly looked at in the activity based budgeting in 2015. He said the citizen's budget began three years ago and have been creating the necessary impact, stating that the Citizen's is not a separate budget from the national budget wherein they intended to count the number of citizens in Sierra Leone and indicate how the resources will be distributed among everyone, but will more or less show how the budget will be utilized to meet the social, economic and moral needs of the country but not by individual help.

He noted that the budget process is complex, citing reference to last year's budget which was engulfed with so many difficulties such as the outbreak of the Ebola epidemic causing reduction in revenue generation as it greatly affected the mining sectors. Matthew Dingie expressed satisfaction in the formulation of the Citizens Budget as it has increased awareness in the national budget. The program was chaired by Head Department of Economic Fourah Bay College, Samuel Brima.

In his statement the Coordinator of Non State Actor in the Ministry of Finance Amadu Sidi Bah , said the Citizen's Budget is very important for the nation. He went on to say that the document provides information on budgetary performance for previous year and how Government intends to mobilize and spend public resources in the current financial year.

Coordinator of Budget Advocacy Network Abu Bakarr Kamara made a presentation of the Citizen's guide budget 2015.




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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