December 20, 2016 By Mohamed Massaquoi
The Kenema District Council (KDC) has projected the sum of Le3, 896,256,340 as the 2017 budget to support council activities, with the expectation of generating more revenues for the completion of most of the unfinished projects within the district.
While reading the 2017 budget to councilors, representatives of ministries, departments and agencies and civil society members at the council’s hall in Kenema, the chairman of the council, Dr. Senesi Mansaray, said they hope to take appropriate steps to improve on their home source of revenue, so that they would be able to improve on the living standards of people in that part of the country.
He said the 2017- 2018 budget was designed to serve as a working document that would be used for the implementation of Agenda for Prosperity, presidential recovery priorities and the Kenema District Development Plan, including broad sector priorities.
He said the cooperation of tax payers and other revenue generating drives in the district have been very challenging, which he said has largely been responsible for the low revenue in the year under review.
He added that budget performance within the district was increasingly becoming a significant concern for council because it directly affected effective service delivery at grassroots level, adding that despite all the challenges, council made progress on its goal of improving service delivery to its communities.
Senesi further stated that council received a total sum of Le6, 303,001,716 out of a projected target of Le3,512,051,496,adding that they prioritised agriculture, healthcare service, education, youth and sports, improvement of rural water service, among others within the district.
“We want to thank government and our development partners for providing the support to council to carryout it activities. However, we are very much concerned that a good number of non-governmental organisations are not working alongside council’s development plans. They have always said that they are getting their arrangement with authorities in Freetown and not with the local councils. For example, in the area of agriculture, a total grant transfer amounted to Le 1,675,07,364 .In terms of actual expenditure, Le 44million was spent on procuring agricultural implements, Le30 million on replenishing livestock, Le 40 million on the rehabilitation of inland valley swamps among other services,’’ he said.
He continued that education received Le 591,237,560, while library received Le 47,413, in 2016, making a total of Le 638,650,560.
“We are calling on all to support the council and its activities. I want to express my profound gratitude and appreciation again to all, who have rendered support to council during the 2016 financial year, particularly the government of Sierra Leone, World Bank, WHH, FAO among others,” he concluded.