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In the wake of economic meltdown…

CGG urges Gov’t to prioritise citizen’s welfare

October 10, 2016 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

Campaign for Good Governance (CGG) has urged government to prioritise the welfare of its citizens in the wake of the current economic meltdown in the country.

On Tuesday, 3rd October, 2016 the government announced a number of austerity measures to ensure the revamp of the economy, which was hard hit by the Ebola outbreak.

In a press release signed by Executive Director Valnora Edwin, the organisation welcomed the proposed austerity measures by the government to curtail spending, but said it was concerned by the failure to point out how the cut on spending would be translated to cushion service delivery and citizen’s wellbeing.

The organisation stated that while full commitment was required on the part of the government to fully implement the suggested measures, such actions should not be devoid of the citizen’s wellbeing.

“We respect the role of the IMF in trying to salvage the situation but we are gravely concerned about the potential social consequences of high taxation and removal of government subsidies, especially on fuel as it would further exacerbate the poor living conditions of sierra Leoneans,” the release stated.

The organisation highlighted the deteriorating standards of living of the ordinary Sierra Leonean as a result of systematic price hike of basic commodities, increased in taxation and inflation, resulting in high exchange rates of the Leone against international currencies, backed by the growing unrest on the part of irate youths posing as gangs.

According to CGG, access to basic social services to improve citizen’s standard of living over the years have been a challenge and that the availability of safe drinking water as the rains recede and the rise in electricity tariffs were serious pointers to the current poor living conditions of the people.

“Recognizing the effect of the twin shocks of Ebola outbreak and the drop in the price of iron ore on the international market, the need to rethink our economic and social strategies and embark on immediate but robust national priority actions to ameliorate the situation is of essence,” the release further noted.

CGG reminded government that salaries and wages have continued to remain the same since the commencement of the budget year, thus ordinary citizens were struggling to meet daily expenses, resulting in untold suffering.

They recommended that government open avenues for discourse as a way of promoting citizens engagement and feedback, while at the same time revisiting the recommendations of the National Conference on Development and Transformation that would bring all sectors of the society and development partners to better understand the problem in the face of the current economic situation and delineate a path to cushion the current economic downturn and its effects on the people of Sierra Leone.

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