First Lady of Sierra Leone, Fatima Jabbie Bio

A release from the government through the Ministry of Finance has justified excessive spending by the Office of the First Lady.

This was made known by the Ministry of Finance responding to concerns or allegations of illegal disbursements that were made to office which have been raised on both social and print media.

Making clarifications, government maintained that it is not the first time that resources have been disbursed from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) to the Office of the First Lady through the Office of the Secretary to the President.

That all allocations of resources from the CRF to the First Lady Office are normally used for office set-up, foreign travelling and sensitisation campaigns one of which is the ‘Hands Off Our Girls Campaign’ by the First Lady.

That an account was opened for the Office of the First Lady at the Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL) to strengthen accountability and transparency in the use of public funds, adding that the objective is to ensure full disclosure of all transfer of resources to the First Lady’s Office.

“The opening of the account was authorised by the Ministry of Finance through the Accountant General’s Department to facilitate the tracking of expenditure and for audit assessments. This is the normal practice for the opening of all bank accounts by the Accountant General’s Department,” the release stated.

It is however, the concern of right-thinking members of the public that the acclaimed transparency and accountability are now only being made after a whistle has been blown of unnecessary spending by the Office of the First Lady.