Sierra Leone’s Minister of Finance Ahmed Fantamadi Bangura has projected that the total Interest debt service payments will amount to 4.1 billion in 2024.

He made the statement in his recent Presentation of the government budget and statement of economic and financial policies for the financial year 2024 in the Chamber of Parliament, Tower Hill Parliament. Of this, interest Payments on domestic debt will amount to NLe 3.8 billion, and on external debt, NLE319 million.

Improving the Sustainability of Public Debt, the Finance Bill 2024 reveals that debt service payments account for an average of 25 percent of domestic revenues, thereby reducing the resources
available for spending on Government priority programmes. In addition to the
fiscal consolidation measures mentioned in the foregoing paragraphs.

The Bill which captures the theme “Restoring Macro economic stability while protecting the Poor and Vulnerable” pointed out that Government
will pursue the following actions to improve the sustainability of public debt and create the fiscal space to scale up spending on the Big Five Game Changers:

i. continue to introduce medium to long-term bonds to extend average
maturity, in line with the updated Medium-Term Debt Strategy;

ii. limit external borrowing in line with programme ceilings agreed with
development partners;
iii. continue to seek grant financing and borrow highly concessional loans to
finance investments in key sectors of the economy, especially
iv. continue to explore non-debt-creating financing models such as Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) supported by thorough analyses of the
potential fiscal risks;

v. implement the Medium-Term Debt Strategy every year to guide public
debt management;

vi. implement the updated Arrears Clearance Strategy;

vii. continue to improve debt reporting and transparency through the regular
publication of debt and contingent liabilities of SoEs;

viii. review the Debt Management Act to further strengthen debt management;

ix. deploy a contract profiling tool for the effective management of contracts
with support from the African Development Bank.