The Parliament of Sierra Leone has on Tuesday 26th November 2019 debated and unanimously ratified three financing agreements including agribusiness, social safety net and finance cooperation.
Prior to ratification, the Deputy Minister of Finance, Dr. Patricia Laverley highlighted the importance of the agreements in light of job creation, improving the livelihood of extremely poor compatriots and infrastructural development.
The following agreements were ratified by Parliament:
1. Protocol of agreement between the Republic of Sierra Leone and African Development Fund (ADF) for the Sierra Leone Agricbusiness and Rice Value Chain Support Project (SLARIS) Dated 20th August 2019
2. Financing Agreement (Second additional financing for Sierra Leone Social Safety Net Project) between the Republic of Sierra Leone and the International Development Association (IDA) dated 12th September 2019 and amendment to the amended and restated financing agreement (Sierra Leone; Social Safety Net Project-Grant NOS.H9250-SL and D0920-SL) dated 12th September, 2019 and
3. Ratification of Sierra Leone membership of the Africa Finance Cooperation
Contributing to the debate, Hon. Francis Amara Kaisamba of SLPP said that the agreements were non-controversial relative to the improvement of rice production aimed at reducing huge Government spending on the importation of rice to the country.
On his part, Hon. Abdul Karim Kamara of APC recalled several agreements that had been ratified by Parliament and called on institutions to implement those agreements for the benefits of the country. Speaking on the social safety net, he called on Government not to politicize the distribution of cash to the beneficiaries.
Adding his voice to the debate, Hon. Sahr Charles of C4C said that the agreements would address the issue of hunger in the country, and also called on the authorities to implement the social safety net devoid of partisan considerations.
Buttressing the importance of the agreements, Hon. Osman A. Charles of SLPP said the documents were in line with the 2020 National Budget in light of creating a plethora of job opportunities for thousands of youth in the country.
Also commenting on the debate, Hon. Moses A. Edwin of SLPP called for checks and balances during the implementation of these financing agreements.
Contributing to the debate, the Acting Leader of Opposition, Hon Ibrahim Ben Kargbo of APC commended the Deputy Minister for hard work and assured of their support for the ratification of these financing agreements.
Concluding the debate, the Acting Leader of Government Business, Hon. Sahr M. Nyuma said that they do not have any dissenting view from previous speakers regarding these agreements; adding that all MPs have a role to play during the implementation period. He specifically noted that, the agreements would improve on farming activities in the country. “Our farmers are really poor, and we must endure to make them better”, he observed. He also assured MPs that the implementation of these financing agreements would not enjoy any inkling of partisan considerations.