Sierra Leone’s Ambassador accredited to the United States of America, His Excellency Bockari Kortu Stevens signed the documents regarding the project otherwise known as “sixth Governance Reform and Growth Credit” on April 24th, 2014, while Jan Walliser, Director Strategy and Operations Africa Region signed for the World Bank.
The thrust of the grant is underscored by the World Bank in stating that “no defaults exist in respect of any external debt.”
According to the World Bank, Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development prepared and executed a plan fully accounting for unpaid financial obligations incurred in fiscal Year 2013, in accordance with the provision of paragraph 32 of the Letter of Development Policy.
“Through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development the government submitted a supplementary Budget for fiscal Year 2013 to Parliament in accordance with the provision of paragraph 32 of the Letter of Development policy.
“Through the public sector reform Unit, its Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and office of Accountant General, Collectively completed the teacher verification exercise and updated Human Resource records and the Teachers Payroll respectively, in accordance with the provision of paragraph 33, 34 and 35 of the Letter of Development Policy.
“The Government of Sierra Leone has, through its National Revenue Authority taken administrative and enforcement actions with a view to increasing compliance and timeliness of filing of income Tax returns, in accordance with the provision of paragraph 36 of the Letter of Development Policy.
“The Government of Sierra Leone has through its National Revenue Authority, initiated recovery proceedings on all Income Tax arrears cases in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 37 of the Letter of Development Policy.
Through its Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the government of Sierra Leone disclosed publicly in the first half of Fiscal Year 2013, a statement of the revenue collected in Fiscal year 2012 from the extractive industries covering at least ninety percent of the total collection, by revenue type, in accordance with section 159 of the Mines and Minerals Act, and consistent with the government of Sierra Leone commitments under the extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 37 of the Letter of Development Policy: and through its Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources, the Government of Sierra Leone admitted the Bill entitled “the National Minerals Agency Act,2012 dated February 2, 2012 to its Parliament , in accordance with the provision of paragraph 38 of the Letter of Development Policy.
Prior to the signing ceremony, Jan Walliser Director Strategy and Operations Africa Region signed for the World Bank said the sum of Twenty Five Million `United States Dollars was a loan that metamorphosed into a grant because the President Ernest Bai Koroma led government fulfilled all the terms and conditions of the World Bank in 2012/2013.
He said the West African Country is consistent in maintaining growth and the application of “Best Practice” transparency and performance.
The World Bank’s Director of Strategy and Operations Africa Region expressed hope that the government of Sierra Leone will continue to work in earnest to improve the welfare of its citizenry.
Responding, Ambassador Bockari Kortu Stevens thanked the World Bank for the Grant and reaffirmed the commitment and determination of the President Ernest Bai Koroma led government to continue in the transformation of Sierra Leone for the better.
He said such Grants are welcomed at a time like this, to enable the Government continue to move its development projects with precision.
He commented on the development strides currently being made, and said the government has challenges in some areas, which are not insurmountable.