• February 9, 2024

Mines Ministry… SLE310, 059, SLE310, 059, SLE76, 000, SLE76, 000, SLE40, 000 Chopped

Mines Ministry… SLE310, 059, SLE310, 059, SLE76, 000, SLE76, 000, SLE40, 000 Chopped
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By: Hassan Osman Kargbo

The Sierra Leone Audit Report which presented the activities of almost all Ministries in the government and other area has exposed the Minister of Mines and Minerals Resources in its 2022 report which was released late last year to the public.

According to the Audit Report, the Ministry Mines and Minerals Resources had 32 staff who were Mine Wardens and Mines Monitoring Officers. Their responsibilities however clashed with that of the Compliance Officers of the National Minerals Agency.

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Despite the fact that they had received total salaries of SLE310,059 during the period under review, there were no evidence to suggest that they carried out the jobs they were tasked to do in Ministries.

Also, the release noted that four staff posted to different locations in the provinces were still at the headquarters without justification, and no disciplinary action was taken against them.

In addition, from the examination of sampled payment vouchers, the report observed that the Ministry used nontechnical staff (such as ICT Officers, Accounts Assistants, Procurement Officers, and staff from the Admin. Department) to monitor illicit mining in the provinces. An amount of SLE92, 000 was spent on DSAs and other costs on this activity for the period under review.

It admitted that the Mines Monitoring Officers lacked the required tools such as a vehicle, communication gadgets, and mines detectors to make their work effective, efficient, and safe. It continued that they observed that sitting allowances and honorarium which amounted to SLE76,000 were paid to members of the Minerals Advisory Board (MAB) and other staff without evidence of minutes of meetings held, and the signed attendance lis​t. And the report recommended that the Accountant should provide the relevant supporting documents for audit inspection. ​

The report furthered noted that of the SLE76,000, supporting documents such as minutes of meetings held, and the signed attendance list, etc. were submitted and verified for payments totalling SLE40,000 which represents 53% of the queried amount, leaving a balance of SLE36,000. The issue is partially resolved.

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