BY SULAIMAN ALIM BANGURA
Honorable Abdul Kargbo of Constituency 077 disclosed to the House of Parliament that the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) since 2018 – 2020 has increased the country’s debt to 72%, in which the debt taken in 2018 was 17.83 Trillion and 30.71 in the year 2020 respectively. He reminded the House that the past APC regime borrowed 15.03 trillion throughout their ten years in governance, wherein the SLPP government just in three (3) years has borrowed 13 trillion and by the ending of 2021 they shall be borrowing an amount of 14.33 trillion. This, as he stated, is almost equal to what the past government borrowed within their entire ten years in governance.
The APC MP made this observation as members of parliament concluded the debate of the 2022 government budget which tends to capture all the financial activities of the government’s ministries, departments, and agencies in the subsequent year. He exposed the failures, ineptitude, and increasing rate of both domestic and international debt of the New Direction government since they took the mantle of leadership in 2018.
In his opening remarks, Hon. Abdul Kargbo reminded the House of Parliament of the promise made by the President in paragraph 13 of page 13 in the New Direction’s manifesto, which expressly stated that ” The New Direction shall introduce the practice of annual budget ceiling, beyond which government shall not borrow above.” About the aforementioned, the APC MP glaringly exposed the government failed to state to the public and other key financial related institutions the total amount in which they (government) cannot borrow above as stated in their manifesto.
This, as he stated, is a manifestation that the current government is not working towards what they promised the people as ‘‘the debt rate of the country is increasing now and then,’’ and yet the people are still been faced with several challenges. The honorable member further pinpointed that, since the New Direction came into governance in 2018, the debt servicing of the country has taken 4% of the country’s GDP, and this has caused the economy of the country to be in Shambles, and which in turn is currently affecting the livelihood of the ordinary Sierra Leoneans, he further reiterated. He continued to unearth the inaptitude and the increasing rate of debt under the leadership of Rtd. Julius Maada Bio. He disclosed that the debt of the country since 2018-2020 has increased to 72%, in which the debt taken in 2018 was 17.83 trillion and 30.71 trillion in the year 2020 respectively. That being said, the honorable Abdul Kargbo brilliantly and explicitly states that, if the monies that have been borrowed so far by the current SLPP government is to be equitably distributed among Sierra Leoneans, every citizen is to be given four hundred and twenty-five dollars ($425). ‘‘The hundred-million-dollar question that is in the mind of many people is that what the New Direction government is doing with all the monies that have been borrowed? as things are getting from bad to worse for the ordinary Sierra Leoneans since they took the mantle of leadership in 2018,’’ the APC MP concluded.