The World Bank Country Director for Sierra Leone, Perminder Brar, has informed Sierra Leoneans and the government that they will cut off their support to the country if they notice corruption in any government sector.
Awoko reports that He made this ‘strong’ statement during the launching of the President’s Recovery Priorities in Magburaka town the district headquarters of Tonkolili on Monday 20th June 2016.
The World Bank boss said the issue of corruption remains a major factor toward the development of the country which needs to be looked at with all utmost seriousness, pointing out that if the ‘pay no bribe’ campaign is embraced by all Sierra Leoneans the country will project in a not too distant future.
Mr. Brar said the Ebola outbreak in West Africa was first in Guinea which was followed by Liberia and later Sierra Leone but noted that the largest number of victims and infected cases were recorded in Sierra Leone. He said the country recorded the worst in terms of economic loss but with the demonstration of a good and strong leadership the country was able to cope with the involvement of communities and the scourge was overcome.
The World Bank Country Director revealed that there are Eighty-Four Thousand (84,000) Civil Servants in the country of Seven (7,000,000) million population and they form only one (1%) percent while the Ninety-Nine (99%) percent of the total population are in the private sector that needs to be reformed. He said 50 percent of the country’s GDP is generated from the agricultural sector with 70 percent of those farmers in rural areas still leaving below the poverty line.
He encouraged the government to take agriculture as a priority because according to him millions have been spent on it with absolutely no changes from the non-availability of certified seeds in the country which is the backbone to agriculture success in the country. He pointed out that there is every need to connect farmers with markets and make available fertilizers through the involvement of the private sector.
Mr. Perminder Brar associated the non performance in the agriculture sector to that of access to finance as major issues in the country especially to farmers who contribute 5 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP). He said out of a survey conducted only 3 percent of people have access to finance from either an Institution or family friends to boost their farms.
He highlighted issues of land governance and management as key stating that the complex system of land ownership in the country is also affecting farmers. Mr Brar called on government to put together an excellent land policy in the interest of farmers and all citizens. He called for focus on quality education because according to him students are not learning effectively in the country, which needs to be looked into.
Addressing the energy sector, the World Bank head informed that presently only 15 percent of the country’s population currently have access to energy which also needs much more ambition because as he put it, the introduction of technology requires more energy for more people to benefit from the internet. He urged all Sierra Leoneans to make proper use of government properties and cut on the lawlessness in the country which is becoming bigger on a daily basis.