2019 budget hearing: EDSA deferred

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-For failing to avail necessary documents

September 17, 2018

By Ibrahim Tarawallie 

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EDSA officials at the budget hearing…ill-prepared to be heard

Officials from the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) were prevented from being heard at the ongoing 2019 financial year budget discussions at the Bank of Sierra Leone complex in Freetown for failure to avail a proposal their income and expenditure as well as strategy for revenue generation.

When the institution was called to present, they only made available a single sheet of paper bearing figures on it without explanation.

The audience was visibly not impressed as could be discerned from side comments, especially from non-state actors, who slammed them for not giving the process the seriousness it deserves.

While few appealed that they be allowed to present because there were certain critical questions to be answered with regards electricity supply, the majority in the hall objected to it out rightly.

Other state-owned institutions, including the Sierra Leone Airport Authority, that have faced the hearing made available their proposals, including revenue, expenses, budget and strategy for revenue generation.

Principal Deputy Financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, who chairs the technical committee, Mathew Dingie, remarked that EDSA were ill-prepared to present and thus cannot be heard.

“As chairman, I have to be fair to every institution that has come here to present their proposals and budget. EDSA is ill-prepared as far as I am concerned. We are deferring them but the cost for us meeting again will have to be paid by EDSA,” he said.

According to Mr. Dingie, if EDSA was allowed to submit the scanty paper it would be unfair to the work others have already submitted to the committee and stakeholders.

He added that stakeholders, including civil society and the media, might not understand the cash flows but could relate with the figures if they have the details, explaining the strategic plan and budget of the institution.

“The strategic plan and budget have not been prepared by EDSA. You have not done these things properly. I am sorry but I have to call it off,” he said.