Economic Crisis: Sierra Leone Cuts Govt. Cost By 30 Per Cent

By Ola Adeola
Sierra Leone says it is cutting the cost of running its government by 30 percent due to economic crisis, Reuters reported. Fall in commodity prices and financing of the fight against Ebola are reasons cited by President Ernest Bai Koroma for the action. The report says the measure takes effect immediately and will also be done next year.
Spending in the 2016 budget was set at 4.65 trillion leones ($831 million) of which 3.1 billion leones was marked for the cost of running the government, the rest being for capital investment.
The IMF forecasts that the Sierra Leone economy will recover by 4.3 percent in 2016, but public finances are still reeling from a 21.5 percent economic contraction in 2015.
“If we are able to fight Ebola, we should be able to put up a fight that will turn around the economic fortunes of the country,” Koroma said.
At least 70 percent of all contracts with suppliers would have to be paid in leones, instead of the preferred currency of dollars, and all businesses owing back taxes had 30 days to clear them or face a penalty, the statement said.

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