By Ibrahim Joenal Sesay
Sierra Leone Minister of Finance Jacob Jusu Saffa has denied any knowledge for the delayed of Health Workers Allowances.
While speaking about his role in the Covid-19 pandemic and that of his Ministry in the presence of the President Julius Maada Bio at State House recently, the Minister said that his ministry is part of the Presidential Task Force of the Covid-19 and a front line institution for mobilizing external and domestic resources.
In the Covid-19 fight, he said the Ministry of Finance created a special account at the Central Bank called the Covid-19 Account and through that, his ministry pays from the Consolidated Revenue Fund directly to the Covid-19 Account which is a Standing Authority, from there they disburse money to NaCOVERC Account at the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank which he said makes auditing very easy.
“We made money available to NaCOVERC for their operations but we do not go into the detail of what they spend on. We give them special imprest. As at the 27th July, NaCOVERC has over 20 Billion in their account and we have requested for additional money to go into that account.”
He continued to say “when thing get amiss out there, it is not the ministry of Finance, we ensure that there is always money in that account.”
According to the Finance Minister, he said “We can’t be tired of paying allowances to health workers, our salaries alone is about 240 to 250 Billion Leones, if we can pay 250 Billion Leones on time how can we get tired of paying allowances for health workers. It is not our problem, nor the business of the Ministry of Finance, there are challenges out there and let it be sorted out.”
At the time of writing this report, health workers across the country are yet to receive their allowance which was pronounced by President Bio some months ago.