His Excellency President Brig. (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio has referred to the state of Sierra Leone’s economy as appalling and the worse since Independence in 1961.
Addressing development partners at State House on Friday during the joint International Monetary Fund and Ministry of Finance High level Forum, President Bio said that during the two weeks period since he took over, his government has realized the enormous challenges the country faces.
He said with the appalling economic situation in the country, his administration will require hard choices to deliver on his election promises.
He noted that before he took over, the last administration for two years running could not pay salaries without borrowing or heavy reliance on overdraft facility at the Bank of Sierra Leone which now stands at 160 Billion Leones, he explained.
President Bio puts the country’s external debt at 2.0 Billion US dollars and a domestic debt at 4.9 trillion Leones.
He also lamented spoke about the health of the banking system which he said is challenged by the near collapse of the two state owned banks. He said the two banks have huge non-performing loans, some to what he called ‘politically exposed persons”.
President Bio however vowed to work hard to jump start the ailing economy, a move which he said will be guided by the promises he made to the people of Sierra Leone.
“This change would only be realized when we make progress to transforming the economy, improving governance and human development, and by improving on value for money on infrastructural development”, he said.