The Financial Secretary has again being force to explain to Sierra Leoneans after a whistleblower flagged up a mouth-watering sum that was allegedly send to the President who is currently in vacation in the United Kingdom.
Chernor Bah from the Africanist Press has being very critical of the Bio’s administration by exposing series of lapses and loopholes in the New Direction government which has put Chernor Bah and his Africanist Press as one of the nemesis of the government.
Recently, Chernor in his social media pages reveals to Sierra Leoneans that the Ministry of Finance was found wiring thousands of dollar from tax payer’s money as part of the upkeep of the President and his entourage in the United Kingdom.
However, the Financial Secretary was force to reacts to the truthful allegation of Chernor Bah. “My attention has been drawn to a mischievous claim attributed to a certain notorious Chernor Alpha M. Bah that an alleged “secret transfer” of £94,050 was made to the Sierras Leone High Commission in London for President Bio’s Private Visit.
As Financial Secretary at the Ministry of Finance, it is important to state the following not only to assist in the education of the said Chernor Alpha M. Bah but also to dispel any deliberate misinformation.
1. Government has a financial obligation to support the activities of all overseas missions whether they host the Head of State or it is in furtherance of strengthening Sierra Leone’s bilateral and multilateral relations.
2. All transfers made to overseas missions are subject to normal reporting procedure and audit by the Audit Service Sierra Leone. Therefore, any claim of “Secret Transfer” is made out of sheer ignorance and a lack of understanding of reporting and audit procedures.
3. The referenced transfer to the High Commission was handled by several Government officials from the High Commission, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Accountant General’s Department to the Central Bank of Sierra Leone. With such extensive number of Government officials that handled the payment, any claim that it was a secret transfer or transaction flies in the face of common sense.
4. The Financial Secretary Letter is a standard method of payment that has been in existence from colonial era to present day Sierra Leone. To presume anything otherwise is a show of complete incomprehension.
5. The Ministry of Finance remains committed to transparency and accountability in the management and use of public resources.