By Abu Bakarr Munu
Paramount Chief (PC) Bai Kurr Kanagbaro Sanka III of Konikay Chiefdom representing Tonkolili District in Parliament, has on Friday November 20, 2018, criticised successive governments for not doing enough to move Sierra Leone up the development ladder in the world.
PC Bai Kurr was contributing to the debate of the 2019 budget during the third allotted day in the Well of Parliament.
“Where are we as a nation?” he asked rhetorically. He said people are always before the House of Parliament for approval, and they as parliamentarians are always approving good people, some highly educated with very good characters and are recognised in and out of Sierra Leone.
He said Sierra Leone as a country does not lack the human resource but we are at the bottom of the human development ladder. “Are we bring people that are making the change,” he queried.
The Honourable Paramount Chief urged his colleagues MPs to examine the national budget profile to understand the allocations and issues contain therein for a thorough debate. “It is the budget profile that tells us where the money is coming from and where it is going,” he said.
He said that the five billion Leones allocated to the Ministry of Agriculture is a pittance, noting that the entire 2019 budget put together is less than One Billion Dollars which comparatively is far less that the annual budgets of Manchester United FC and Arsenal FC.
PC Bai Kurr pointed out that Sierra Leone is not moving like other countries.
He said the Free Quality Education flagship project of the President, if has to on all that its takes in terms of quality, accommodation, science and technology, needs about US$2.5 billion.
He noted that, the same officials that wrote the 2019 budget for Minister J. J. Saffa were the same that did the budgets for Dr. Kaifala Marah and Momodu L. Kargbo the previous years with slight changes.
Speaking furthered, Bai Kurr said with all the clever people we have, we are not producing anything, not even tomatoes paste. “These are the issues we should be concerned about,” he charged. “We produced what we are not consuming and we consume what we are not producing.”
He said Sierra Leone needs to set up a think-tank that will think outside the box for the development of the country. “Vocational Institutes were established to cater for the middle manpower skills, but sadly today those institutes have transform themselves into academic institutions,” he said.
Bai Kurr said that, there is the need for Sierra Leone to develop its financial institutions and insurance companies. He said the banks should give out loans with little interest rates and also give long window period for people to start paying back their loans.
Image: PC Bai Kurr Kanagbaro Sanka III of Konikay Chiefdom, Tonkolili district.