President Ernest Koroma should apologize for failing the nation, says opposition, Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), because of his government’s inability to address the current economic situation.
During a press briefing, on Friday the 28th of October, at the SLPP headquarters on Wallace Johnson Street, Chairman, Somano Kapen noted that the instituted austerity measures, the plan to remove subsidies on petroleum products and the plan to sell government quarters by President Koroma’s government are deliberate measures to push the economic burden onto the ordinary citizen.
Deliberating on the ripple effects of government’s plan to remove subsidies on petroleum products, Kapen added that any attempt to implement such plan will open the floodgates for further increased inflation, which will drown all prospects of sustainable development.
Somano Kapen furthered that to address the economic problems, proper economic analysis should be done pointing out the over-pricing of government contracts, abuse of duty waivers and high public spending on ostentatious goods as corrupt practices has disturbed the country’s economy.
“The recent audit report,” Kapen stated, “illuminated corrupt practices by the government Ministries, Agencies and Departments. The government’s decision to buy arms and ammunition worth $46.9 million at a critical time is not only a mere misallocation of public money but an invitation for huge kickbacks.”
SLPP Past Secretary General, Jacob Jusu Saffa, said, “the reported smuggling of petrol was propaganda used to divert the attention of the populace”. He urged the government to scale down public expenditure, which according to him will reduce the outstanding budget deficit.
The SLPP, therefore, urged the government to maintain the subsidy on petroleum products and identify other sources of savings so that more poor people than rich people will benefit, according to Saffa.
Kapen also called on the Anti Corruption Commission to speedily investigate and prosecute all those who are directly and indirectly causing huge losses to the government. The SLPP urged civil society organizations to ensure that action is taken.