It adds that the GTT does not find this explanation plausible. There is no denying that the Ebola outbreak and the fall in commodity prices adversely affected the country. However, the outbreak occurred 7 years into the APC’s administration and just after the phenomenal rise in domestic revenue in 2013. In fact, in 2014, the year the Ebola outbreak began, the value of the country’s export was US$1.6 billion, decreasing slightly to $1.4 billion in 2015, when Ebola was contained. Instead, the GTT found that an astonishing level of rampant corrupt, politically – organized racketeering, mismanagement, graft and lack of fiscal discipline by the APC Government must be blamed for the economic mess and near bankruptcy of Sierra Leone. Reckless spending, facilitated by the unrestrained use of the Government’s overdraft privileges at the Bank of Sierra Leone, was the norm, leaving the economy substantially burdened by debt. Revenue generation from agencies and parastatals like the NRA and NATCOM was suboptimal, in part because of excessive leakages and tax exemptions, leading to Government being in arrears amounting to Le 115.2 billion between 2015 and 2017. Indeed, revenue raised by the former APC Government as a ratio of the GDP was substantially lower than that of Liberia and Guinea, Sierra Leone’s comparable neighbors.
By March 2018, Sierra Leone’s revenue generation per GDP ratio was 12%, below the African average of 17%, and way below those of Guinea (18%) and Liberia (17%). Meanwhile, by the end of March 2018, inflation was close to 16%, and the value of the national currency had severely eroded, trading at Le 7,600 to US $1.