By Joseph Milton Lebbie.
It appears to have become a tradition for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) not to pay bills for essential services rendered to them.
Such negative attitude of the MDAs has been having a very adverse impact on the institutions that provide them the essential services.
One institution that continues to suffer severely from the failure of MDAs to pay their bills is the Guma Valley Water Company.
In an exclusive interview with Global Times, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Guma Valley Water Company, Joseph Musa, disclosed that MDAs owe the company over Nineteen Billion Leones in the form of water bills they have accrued and failed to pay, a situation which, he noted, is killing the company slowly.
Musa further revealed that the Defense Ministry alone owes Guma Valley Seven Billion Leones while the Finance Ministry is to pay the company nearly Three Billion Leones and the Sierra Leone Police One Billion Leones.
The PRO continued that offices at the Youyi Building have to pay water bill of about eight hundred million Leones to Guma, prompting the company to disconnect the building over a month ago.
He went on that the company is now beefing up its personnel to embark on massive disconnection exercise that will knock many MDAs out of Guma Water services.
He described MDAs as the company’s biggest debtors, pointing out that the company started having problems with MDAs over payment of bills when the Finance Ministry ceased paying the bills directly to Guma on behalf of the MDAs and started paying the bills into the budget of the MDAs.
Musa suggested that the Finance Ministry reverts to the old system of paying the water bills directly to the Guma Valley as the company needs so much money to provide water.
He cited that the company expends over five hundred million Leones every blessed day to provide water service, explaining further that Guma bears the huge financial burden of paying salaries to over three hundred workers and buying drums of fuel every day to operate its giant water pumping plants apart from the huge expenditure of importing chemicals in US Dollars without duty free concession.
“What makes the matter worse is the fact that government does not give subvention to Guma” the PRO stated that for MDAs to be owing such a company huge sums of money is equivalent to slowly killing the company by rendering it economically impotent.