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Over suspension of Finance Acts…

Secretary to the President ‘erred’

May 29, 2018 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

Dennis Vandi: to err is human

The Office of the President has in a press release issued yesterday set the records straight following the controversial suspension of the Finance Acts of 2016, 2017 and 2018 by President Julius Maada Bio.

A press release signed by Dennis Vandi, Secretary to the President, directed the Financial Secretary to suspend the Finance Acts of 2016, 2017 and 2018.

In a Memorandum dated 24th May 2018, titled “Implementation of the Finance Acts 2016, 2017 and 2018”, Vandi noted that following a meeting held on 23rd May, 2018 with a cross-section of the Sierra Leone Business Community, President Maada Bio had directed that the implementation of Finance Acts 2016, 2017 and 2018 bee suspended until further notice.

However, in a dramatic U-turn yesterday, Secretary Vandi said he erred in that Memorandum by ascribing the directive to President Bio.

He denied the president had given any such directive, adding that section 110 (1) of Act No. 6 of 1991 clearly states that: “No taxation shall be imposed or altered otherwise than by or under the authority of an Act of Parliament.”

The release states that during the meeting, President Bio expressed serious concern about the impact of any taxation on ordinary people and therefore only suspended discussions on the matter pending further consultation with the Ministry of Finance and Development Partners.

He concluded that the Office of the President informed the business community and the general public that all relevant laws relating to revenue collection remain valid until amended by an Act of Parliament.

He apologised to the business community and the general public for any inconvenience the miscommunication might have caused.

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