Concluding the debate on the Presidential Address to Parliament on the official opening of Parliament in May 2021, various Members of Parliament gave their own views on the many issues in the speech. Hon Abdul Kargbo, whilst giving his own take on the President’s speech, said that President Bio has failed to deliver on his promises and that the country has been catapulted from a country of moderate debt risk in 2018 to that of high debt risk in 2020 (barely 3 years), stressing that this is according to the IMF.
Speaking on his findings, Hon. Abdul Kargbo said that in 10 years of APC rule under the leadership of former President Koroma, the government’s external debt was Le19 Trillion as at 2018, whilst in 3 years of the tenure of the current government, the country’s external debt as at 2020 stands at Le31.3 Trillion, which in his calculation is an increase of Le12.3 Trillion in just 3 years and an annual borrowing of Le4.1 Trillion, as against the APC’s annual average of Le1.66 Trillion. He stressed that the current government has tripled its borrowing in just 3 years. He reminded the House that in His Excellency’s speech to Parliament in 2018, he promised to put a seal on borrowing, but the current figures show that the opposite has happened. He furthered that a host of the promises made by the President are yet to be seen, like free tuition for teachers, Youth empowerment fund, Cultural village, development of the country’s culture, establishment of art theatre, development of the entertainment industry, building of houses for all MPs etc. Hon Abdul Kargbo stressed that the figures he had quoted are only for 2020 and that 2021 is not included, and expresses fear that the external debt will continue to rise beyond expectation.