July 19, 2017 By Jariatu S. Bangura
Lawmakers yesterday ratified the financing agreement (productivity and transparency support credit) amounting to thirty million United States Dollars ($30,000,000) between the Republic of Sierra Leone and International Development Association.
Presenting the agreement for ratification, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Alhaji Foday B.L Mansaray, stated that the $US22,000,000 was in the form of grant, while the $US8,000,000 was a credit.
He stated the Productivity and Transparency support credit would focus on a limited number of transformational structural reforms included in the Agenda for Prosperity and geared towards unlocking inclusive growth.
He said the programme will cover six policy areas including; agriculture and land, fisheries, energy, education, procurement, and asset disclosure.
He noted that the operations would increase productivity in selected economic sectors, and improved transparency and accountability in selected government decision-making processes.
He noted that the agreement will support the national budget and that the credit would be repaid in equal semi-annual installments over a period of thirty-two years, after a grace period of six years, starting from the date of the agreement.
In his contribution, Hon. Foday Rado Yokie of the SLPP said the agreement was not controversial but urged that his colleague lawmakers should be included when such an important agreement was to be signed.
“I see no need why loans are given to famers and gratuities to multinational companies who have more earning powers than the local farmers. We should do the reverse instead as Small and Medium Enterprises and local farmers need support rather than these multinational companies,” he said.
Hon. Aaron Koroma of the APC noted that the agreement sought to support the economy of the country, especially in the area of agriculture as 70% of the local people were engaged in agricultural activities.
He added that agriculture has the potential to producing products that could feed the entire nation and produce surplus for export.
“This agreement shows that the international communities have trust in the government based on the pressure government is giving to the National Revenue Authority and NASSIT in generating revenue across the country,” he said.