Sierra Leone Ports Authority Contributes Le 70B Annually
The Management of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority (SLPA) has come out clearly that as a self-sponsored institution; they contributed Seventy Billion Leones (Le 70B) into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) annually in form of concessions and royalty.
This was brought to the knowledge of Civil Society Organizations, District Budget Oversight Committees (DBOs), Community representatives and the media during their 2020 Fiscal Year budget presentation at the Miatta Conference Centre on Saturday 12th October, 2019.
Presenting the budget, the Acting General Manager (AGM) said SLPA was established by Ports Act of Parliament 1964 and amended in 1991, 2002 and 2006 and humbly requested from the Ministry of Finance 50% shares from the money they contributed into the consolidated account to enable them construct and transform the appalling condition of the Queen Elizabeth Quay.
He categorized the challenges they are facing in managing the affairs of the Ports which include Getty and berth rehabilitation and dredging, installation of signals including buoys and light for vessels, procurement of tug and pilot boats, construction of new administrative building, enhancement of the Ports and Harbour Act and payment of huge past employee’s severance benefits.
He said their functions does not limit to control Ports activities or promote the Corporate Wage of the Port so that it can be compared to other Ports around the world but it also undertaken the development of port infrastructure.
The Chief Accountant, Mr. Malcolm said the revenue figures for 2020 are based on marine services, stevedore (liquid bulk), container terminal through put fee, marine slipway through put fee and other income.
Aron Brown, a member of the Technical Team in the Ministry of Finance raised that the budget was prepared for CSO’s because he said, they wanted budget transparency and to add value into the process and stressed that SLPA should not only displayed their strategic plan or deliverables but they should also give their projection, financial statement and medium term expenditure framework which they did.
Representative of the Non-State Actors (NSA’s), Sheku Tanga from Kenema District emphasized on the need to answer to the call of SLPA to address what they described as death traps adding that they must be supported financially to carryout effective maintenances.
He described SLPA as an autonomous institution and must be accountable to the people of this country and mentioned that SLPA required more support to refurbish many worn out departments because he said, they are raising huge revenue for Government but are not benefitting from it, unlike other Ministries Department and Agencies (MDA’s) that receiving percentage from the revenue they generated.
Another technical staff, Mr. Cyrus discussed that SLPA challenges are insurmountable and they are exposed to risk. He spoke on the need for SLPA to meet bilaterally with the Ministry of Finance to take cognizance of annual work plan comprehensively.
He urged Government to look at the infrastructure of SLPA and give them the necessary support to make more money for the Government. He described SLPA as a key institution and it is the first time for it to take part in budget discussions.
By Abdulai Mento Kamara
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