Over concerns about delays in the Implementation of Donor-Funded Projects, The Minister of Finance talks tough

The Minister of Finance Dennis K. Vandi on Tuesday, 15th November 2022 called for tough decisions and actions to be taken against an officer who is responsible for the delays in the implementation of donor-funded projects.

He made this statement in the ongoing Country Portfolio Performance Review (CPPR) of donor projects funded African Development Bank (AfDB).

He said that the portfolio performance review will assess the progress on the implementation of projects, the challenges and bottlenecks, map out ways to improve the implementation of AfDB-funded projects and find the way forward.

The Country Portfolio Review (CPPR) is an event that is jointly undertaken by the Government of Sierra Leone and Donor Partners either bilaterally or collectively to assess the quality and performance of the Country’s Portfolio of the respective donors.

He added that the CPPR is also a tool or framework used by Donors and other relevant development partners to assess the performance of a Country’s current portfolio. Dennis Vandi continued that, while the overall performance of the bank’s portfolio in Sierra Leone is satisfactory, the implementation of some of the projects has been behind schedule he added.

The Minister of Finance highlighted delays in loan or grant effectiveness, occasional non-compliance of Bank disbursement and procurement procedures, weak implementation capacity, inadequate payment of government’s counterpart contributions to projects and the untimely submission of project reports by the staff of PIUs as some of the major challenges projects are faced with.

In his presentation on the cross-cutting issues, Sam Aruna, Deputy Financial Secretary of the Multi-Lateral Project Division at the Ministry of Finance, highlighted that most problems across all projects include procurement and contract management, delays in setting up evaluation committees, inexperience procurement staff, interference with the procurement process and delays in issuing no objections.
The Country Manager of the African Development Bank (AFDB) madam Halima Hashi expressed appreciation to the Minister and his team for their attendance at such a very important meeting of the Portfolio Review.

She continued that, this shows that the leadership wants things to move. She draws the attention of the leadership of the Ministry of Finance to two projects she said are not performing in the portfolio that needs attention.

The African Development Bank (AFDB) projects portfolio covers projects in Agriculture, Infrastructure, Health, Water, ETC.