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Police spends huge chunk of budget on rice procurement

October 10, 2019

By Ibrahim Tarawallie

police

The Sierra Leone police is spending huge chunk of its approved budget yearly  on the procurement of rice for officers and other ranks, while spending very little on other important issues.

According to the Head of Procurement, Assistant Superintendent Alieu Turay, in 2018, procurement of rice for officers and other ranks accounted for Le45.3billion of the Le97.4billion approved recurrent budget, whilst for this year, Le20bilion has been spent out of the Le35.5billion approved recurrent budget received so far.

“This has been the thorny part. Procurement of rice for officers and other ranks takes almost 50% of our budget,” he said, and disclosed that so far, Le3.3billion has been spent on fuel and oil, Le500million as imprest to regional commanders-and Le1billion for utility.

He, however, noted that out of the Le9.3billion approved as development budget for this year, nothing has been received from the Ministry of Finance so far.

He stated that their proposed budget for 2020 financial year is Le92.7billion and that they are hoping to spend Le50.2billion on the procurement of rice for officers.

Turay also disclosed that for the financial year 2020, they will be acquiring 17 vehicles to enhance operations whilst 1,000 officers will be recruited and installation of closer circuit television completed.

He disclosed that the generated revenue for 2018 from armed guards, clearing certificate, rentage of Officers Mess and Police band, among others, amounted to Le3.5billion, whilst Le1.8billion has been generated so far for this year.

“The money was used on feeding and diet, local traveling, overseas traveling and trainings, computer and ancillary equipment, building and furniture maintenance, donations and allowances and maintenance of vehicles,” he disclosed.

He highlighted inadequate logistics, untimely and inadequate disbursement of funds and low technical and scientific support to assist in investigations, among others.

He urged the plenary to ensure an increase and timely disbursement of allocated funds as they have a lot to do in providing the much needed security to the state.

Representing the civil society, Moses Sellu Mambu raised serious concern with regards the huge amount being spent on rice

“Rice alone is taking over 60% of the total budget of the Sierra Leone Police. Spending Le50.2bilion on the procurement of rice alone is not good,” he stated.

Looking at the current situation of the country, Mambu asked as to whether it would be possible for the police to move into farming, considering the huge amount on rice.

He urged them to look for ways in terms of partnering with development partners and using their workforce to make sure they start growing the rice they eat.

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