The Minister of Finance Hon. Jacob Jusu Saffa has on Wednesday 10th February 2021, encouraged the Leadership and Staff of the Ministry to defend the Presidential Award with more hard work.
Being very elated, the Minister in the presentation ceremony dedicated the award to staff of the ministry, noting that, “if the Ministry of Finance fails to think the country perished”.
President Julius Maada Bio awarded the Finance Ministry for its good performance in the year 2020.
He admonished staff to maintain the good work and applauded the team spirit among them, noting that the award has proved that a good leader must have a willing and diligent team of staff to achieve success.
He revealed that lack of donor confidence had strained the relationship between Sierra Leone and its International Development partners, notably the IMF.
He stated that this was the state of affairs which this administration inherited but through the astute financial management policies supported by the diligence of the Ministry’s staff donor confidence was restored within eight (8 ) months in governance.
He added that the ministry has also been able to finance more development projects; mobilize additional revenue to stabilize the economy and reducing leakages.
He added that the ministry has been able to take care of other essential things like; pay salaries on time, maintains police on the road, feeds prisoners, and provide electricity in Freetown in a more planned manner.
He continued that the ministry has also been able to renegotiate contractual terms for the construction or rehabilitation of some roads across the country.
“We were able to finance the free education program which many had thought was impossible, the only magic is the ministry has increased revenue and reduced wastages,” he emphasized
Highlighting the reasons for the award, the Financial Secretary Sahr Lamin Jusu cited that the Ministry provided effective leadership in the management of the economy during the global COVID-19 pandemic and also restored international donor confidence in the management of the economy and fiscal probity.
“The Ministry introduced and implemented the COVID-19 Quick Action Rapid Economic Response with a Le 500 Billion Bank of Sierra Leone Special Credit Facility to support the availability of essential commodities at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said
The Financial Secretary said the Ministry achieved impressive external donor resource mobilization of $380 million between January – October 2020 which made it possible for public sector salaries to be paid and on time and also provided Le 420 Billion for the NaCOVERC COVID-19 response.
“To ease the burden of the negative socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on the poor and vulnerable groups, MoF provided cash transfer to 11,000 persons with disability and 29,000 informal sector workers across the country,” he said.
He said the ministry also developed the National Micro-Finance Programme (the MUNAFA Fund) to support SMEs across the country.