According to him, over 21% of the 2019 budget (Le1.5trillion) will be used on servicing debt, adding that government will not want to incur loans that will pose substantial liability on the government.
He explained further that when put together, debt servicing and wages and salaries account for about 70% of the budget and that is unsustainable.
“We have to make sure we industrialized salary, find a way of managing budget and increase revenue so that we can have better ways to spend. We will continue fiscal discipline because we have no option as it is the objective of the new IMF programme. The agenda for continuing it are laid out in the 2019 budget,” the minister lamented.
He added that the country has to survive and that can only happen when revenue is increased and space improved because President Julius Maada Bio’s agenda is to diversify the economy.
On the IMF’s approval last Friday November 30, 2018 of a new arrangement, the Finance Minister stated that the re-launch of the programme has once again restored the international credibility of the country, especially efforts towards macro-economic stability and sustained economic growth.
“The re-launch of the programme will give confidence to development partners and attract private investors to Sierra Leone. We assure the public of our commitment to deepening fiscal consolidation through revenue mobilization and improved expenditure management control,” he noted.