By Ilyasa Baa
The government of Sierra Leone has budgeted LE 347 Billion to boost up agriculture and food security in the country as it spends about two hundred million Dollars, annually, to import rice which is the staple food in the country.
According to the government mouthpiece at the Strategic Communication Unit at the Ministry of Information and Communications, Abu Bakarr Joe Sesay, the whooping amount is being budgeted for 2020 by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to promote youths and military farming across the country.
Joe Sesay described next year’s budget as one that will address the looming bread and butter issue people are faced with in the country.
He said the budget highly makes provision for the increment in the salaries of teachers by 40 to 50% adding that the wages of pensioners will also be increased from LE 60,000 to LE 250,000 per month.
Joe Sesay has cast aspersions on the former APC government saying President Koroma and his government misused the proceeds earned from the mining sector.
He noted that the ruling SLPP has learned a lesson from the failures of the past government in the area of agriculture which he said should have been highly boosted by the past government.
A member of the opposition APC on condition of anonymity described the 2020 budget as fake. He argued that the budget will not address agriculture noting that the ruling SLPP lacks what it takes to transform the agricultural and other sectors in the country.
Civil Society activists in the country have expressed the need for the 2020 budget to address issues affecting the lives of the people of Sierra Leone.
The above mentioned budget on the theme: Fiscal Consolidation for Human Capital Development and Job Creation is making provision for the construction of 120 schools to boost the on-going free education programme as it allocates 21% to education.
The budget also set aside LE100 Billion for micro-credit to benefit mostly women across the country.