From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Parliament Queries Central Bank for Losing Le12.4b
By Mohamed Kanu
Aug 17, 2010, 17:02

Taking exception to the many lapses contained in the 2008 Annual Report from the office of the Auditor General which categorically states how the administration of the Bank of Sierra Leone was poorly run and managed, the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Public Accounts yesterday 16th August, 2010 engaged Central Bank officials at Parliament Building in Freetown. Among the various lapses for which the committee summoned the bank for clarification included the breaching of bank policies, the loss of Le12.476 billion for the year under review, the poor response to some issues by concerned departments and how several outstanding issues remained unresolved.

Addressing bank representatives the acting chairperson of the committee, Hon. Komba Kodeoyoma informed that in line with their compliance with the legality of the Sierra Leone Constitution and with all the powers rested in them, it was their responsibility as a committee to query any government institution on accountability and sustainability.

Among several questions posed by members of the committee, the honourable Members of Parliament demanded to know why the bank failed to respond within the 30 daysí time frame given to them on the related issue.

In her response the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, Mrs. Andrena R. Coker disclosed that they failed because of compliance with the Bank of Sierra Leone Act as there were other important issues to deal with comprehensively before they could face the committee. She however, assured the committee that they would comply by the end of this year after the BSL Act would have been amended.

Responding as to why the Le55 million given to former employee as rent loans have not been recovered, Mrs. Coker admitted that some of those loans have not been paid by some of the employees, but however, also assured the committee that they would regularize the system so that such problem did not repeat itself.

She emphasized that the bank was not fully capitalized by the state. "But though the bank is not fully capitalized, we are mindful to see it become efficient," she assured. She ended on the note of promise to produce all substantive documents the committee demanded in their next appearance in order to substantiate the bankís evidence to the parliamentarians.



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