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By Ibrahim Alusine Kamara (Kamalo)
There is no doubt that President Julius Maada Bio means well with a very good development plan for Sierra Leone. His government’s Big Five Game Changer catalogued in the “Peoples Manifesto” is a testament to his dream of making Sierra Leone great again.
However, while his commitment to the development of the country remains unwaveringly in top gear, some operatives of the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), especially ministers and other officials of the government seem to be working in the opposite direction. Yes, there seem to be so many rotten eggs that are inimical to the president’s development agenda for the country.
One such MDA that stands accused of acting in a way that is negative to President Bio’s good development dreams is the Ministry of Finance, headed by Ahmed Fantamadi Bangura.
Allegations are that the Finance Ministry is undermining the President’s development agenda by deliberately strangulating contractors, the local ones in particular, some of whom are handling very important development sectors in the country.
So far, the ministry’s refusal or delay in paying contractors is alleged to have forced them to either stop work or go out of business, coming as a result of the huge debts they accrued from pre-financing the projects the government awarded them.
It is said that many contractors have forfeited valuable property to commercial banks because of the default in refunding the loans accrued from such financial institutions, adding that contractors such as those in sectors as very critical as energy, roads, health, and security, are hardest hit in all of this.
Reports say there has been one excuse and another from Finance Ministry officials over their failure to pay contractors since last year despite the World Bank’s $65 million budgetary support in December last year, which any competent minister would have used judiciously to settle some of the arrears owed to the deprived contractors.
As January 2024 fast fades away, the Ministry continues to play hanky-panky with these contractors, consequently hindering the country’s development.
As the ugly situation seems to be escalating, citizens, and analysts among others have made a clarion call to President Bio to step up to resolve this burning that no doubt has negative repercussions on his government’s development agenda.
Meanwhile, officials at the Ministry have refused to respond to questions put forward by this medium when contacted.
More in subsequent editions.

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