laments inadequate funding
September 19, 2018
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Officials at the Sierra Leone Electricity and Water Regulatory Commission have lamented inadequate funding by government for their operational activities.
The officials yesterday presented their proposed 2019 budget and strategic plan, as well as income and expenditures for the year under review. They requested that a total of Le2.1billion be allocated to them to fund their planned activities even though the budget ceiling from the Ministry of Finance is Le1.6 billion.
According to Director-General Tamba Kellie, the lack of funding limits their public awareness drive and consumer engagement.
“The commission faces serious challenges that have the propensity to seriously undermine its capacity to perform effective regulatory functions,” he said and added that the current uncompetitive staff remuneration will drive the professional staff they have if better job opportunities are on offer,” he said.
Kellie reckoned that dependence on the Consolidated Revenue Fund for salaries of staff undermines the independence of the commission as guaranteed by section 19 of Sierra Leone Electricity and Water Regulatory Act of 2011.
If the amount of funds requested from the Ministry of Finance is granted, the Director-General noted that they hope to improve working environment and increase productivity of the commission, access to electricity and water services at reasonable/fair prices through regulations that are fair to both consumers and service providers.
Also, Head of Finance and Administration, Salieu Barrie, revealed that a total of Le1.3billion was allocated to the commission for 2018 as other charges, but noted that unfortunately they are yet to receive other charges for both 2017 and 2018.
“We benefited from an average monthly salary grant of Le151million every month for 2018. 2018 levied due from utility service providers yet to be received mainly due to liquidity challenges,” he said.