Corruption is a national security issue that can destroy a nation.
That was the view of President Julius Maada Bio at the launch of the Governance Transition Team Report which reportedly reveals massive levels of corruption by ministers and officials of the former government led by ex-president Ernest Bai Koroma.
Corruption in Sierra Leone is at a level that can destroy the nation, the President said, “if we do not fight and win”.
The current President had ordered a team of academics, experienced former civil servants and professionals from different backgrounds, two days after being sworn into office on April 4, to interface with the outgoing All Peoples Congress (APC) government, conduct an immediate assessment of the country’s state of affairs and to submit a report on its findings.
Addressing the audience of journalists, government officials, former government functionaries and members of the consular and diplomatic corps, the Transition Team chair said they uncovered evidence of egregious infractions by the former government.
The report accuses the former president of presiding over a tribal and regionally biased regime, which plundered the West African country under a ‘criminally masterminded’ scheme.
Awarding of fake and inflated contracts and the illegal sale of government assets were identified as the hallmark of the Koroma regime.
Mr. Koroma is also blamed for the failure of the economy as manifested in the huge debt he left and a failing local currency.
As a consequence, the prior government was unable to close the fiscal gap and adhere to agreed actions under the Extended Credit Facility, leading to the suspension of disbursement of both budgetary and balance of payment support by the IMF to Sierra Leone in 2017.
Responding to the publication of the report yesterday, the opposition flatly denied the charges and accused the Bio administration of a witch hunt. It says that it will be studying the report closely with a view to publishing its full response soon.
Source via Global Information Network