By Abu Sorie….
A copy of an Internal Government Memorandum from the Director of Internal Audit in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development dated April 6th, 2016 has revealed that the Government Of Sierra Leone is currently facing a major economic crisis and is unable to pay the salaries of public employees.
The said Memo, which is addressed to the Office of the Accountant General, announces government’s decision to arbitrarily cut leave allowances for all government workers in various departments.
The Memo states that, from now on, government workers proceeding on leave will no longer receive the stipulated 30% of annual salary but will only be given the equivalent of a month’s basic salary when they decide to proceed on leave. The decision is in response to the financial stress faced by government as it enters a challenge on how to continually pay salaries.
This latest information follows a press release, circulated on social media, purportedly from the Accountant General’s office, which also informed teachers that the Accountant-General had embarked on an exercise to validate information for the payment of teachers’ salaries.
The press release claimed that a lot of inconsistencies were discovered between the data received from the Ministry of Education and the payroll at the Accountant General’s Department, which included, among others, wrong pin codes, ghost workers, omission of names, and wrong bank account numbers.
“To ensure that these inconsistencies are cleared and that teachers are paid correctly into their bank accounts, the payment of salaries to teachers for the month of April 2016 will be delayed until the 10th of May 2016 after which payment will be made,” the Accountant General’s Office pointed out.
Recent developments from the Ministry of Finance clearly illustrate the truth surrounding the question of government’s possible inability to continually pay salaries, irrespective of the fact that millions of US dollars of the misappropriated EBOLA FUNDS were fraudulently unaccounted for by major politicians and civil servants serving the current regime of President Ernest Bai Koroma.