By Ahmed Sesay, PRO, Ministry of Finance
As part of his engagements with top government officials, civil society organisations and other stakeholders, the new US Ambassador to Sierra Leone, David Reimer has paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of Finance, Hon. Jacob Jusu Saffa at his George street office in Freetown.
During the meeting, the two discussed several issues relating to the strong bilateral relationship between the United States of America and Sierra Leone, the MCC Compact development and the Government’s policies and programmes as well as on how to strengthen bilateral economic ties.
“The two countries have and continue to enjoy very solid relationship and it’s getting better,” says Mr. Reimer.
He expressed his commitment to support the Government in the development and potential implementation of the Millennium Challenge Cooperation (MCC) compact programme.
He stated that he was very delighted to meet with the Minister of Finance to learn about the policy direction and programmes of the new direction Government. The relationship between the two countries is on very solid footing, he said.
In his response, the Minister of Finance Jacob Jusu Saffa welcomed the Ambassador to Sierra Leone. He reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to fighting corruption and the implementation and completion of the MCC compact.
He also emphasized the significance of internal audit and the imperative to strengthen the regulatory, policy, legal and institutional framework for internal audit.
Minister Saffa further explained the big policy shift in agriculture to increase food production, where the Government has enhanced the participation of the private sector in providing agricultural inputs through the e-voucher system and the provision of over 400 machinery and farm equipment towards the sector, as well as government’s effort to revive the economy through rebuilding the country’s image with development partners, promoting small and medium enterprises – implementation of the “Munafa” Fund, restoring critical infrastructure (Water and Energy) in district headquarter towns and increase domestic revenue mobilisation through automation of the tax system.
Commenting on the increase in revenue mobilization, the Minister said that the driving forces have been enforcement and compliance with tax laws as well as automation of the processes and procedures.
That Government is deepening the automation process by the installation of electronic cash register, which is currently piloted, installation and implementation of the integrated tax administration system, web-based ASYCUDA World and the automation of duty waiver system.
Ambassador David Reimer was appointed Ambassador to Sierra Leone on 19th January 2021. He was recently in a similar capacity in Mauritius and Seychelles.