Minister of Finance Assures World Bank Country Director of Government’s Commitment to Implement Robust Economic Reforms

Minister of Finance Sheku Ahmed Fantamadi Bangura has assured the country director for Sierra Leone, Ghana and Liberia, Dr Robert Taliercio O’Brien, of the commitment of the government of Sierra Leone to implement robust reforms to improve the economy through increased revenue mobilisation and effective fiscal consolidation.

He made this disclosure during a recent courtesy visit by the country director, who is on a three-day working visit in Freetown to discuss with relevant authorities the bank’s intervention to address the current state of the economy and a potential $65 million budget support for 2024.

During the briefing, the Minister of Finance Sheku Ahmed Fantamadi Bangura highlighted several gains in the economy in the recent past, like the decline in inflation from 54% to 38%, stable exchange rate and fiscal consolidation.

He expressed concern over the recent efforts on new revenue measures that are yet to contribute fully to the overall revenue target.

The minister, therefore, seeks support from the bank and partners to support the government and NRA to maximise the revenue potential in the reforms and the introduction of technology in tax collection.

The country director for Sierra Leone, Ghana and Liberia, Dr Robert Taliercio O’Brien, thanked the minister and his team for the meeting, sighting progress made by the government amid all the challenges.

He stated the bank is concerned about inflation, debt service and revenue mobilisation.

He advised the government to use the DPO triggers as an instrument to improve the current situation.

Financial Secretary Matthew Dingie informed the country director of the several reforms on fiscal consolidation and revenue mobilisation but stated that it takes time to feel the impact of some of these reforms.

He continued that the challenge with expenditure is on debt servicing and energy subsidies.

The Financial Secretary further called for support to address the debt stock and energy expenditure to create space for more spending on social services like Education, Agriculture and Health.

The country director and his team, with officials at the Ministry of Finance, extensively discuss several ideas and models to address debt, revenue and the current energy crisis.

The country director will meet with the Bank of Sierra Leone, the National Revenue Authority, the Ministry of Energy, EDSA, the President, the Private Sector and Civil Society.

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