NACOVERC Lands in Le148 Billion Debt
A special report by Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL) says the National Covid-19 Emergency Response Centre (NaCOVERC), incurred huge outstanding financial commitments amounting to Le 148 billion.
The amount relates to backlog payments of risk allowances totaling Le34,188.35, commitment to suppliers Le78, 280.11, Operational Costs Le4, 940.00 and other outstanding requests of 30, 945.00. It is noted that NaCOVERC’s total current value of assets stands at Le 61.12 billion.
The special report was presented to the house of parliament on Thursday 19th May 2022, by the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, also Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Sengepoh Solomon Thomas.
Audit Service stated it was not clear when NaCOVERC will honour those debts and commitments as the Ministry of Finance has also discontinued the provision of regular financial support to the agency. The report further pointed out that the agency.
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The reports further pointed out that the agency lacks sufficient funding to pay the debts and the continue operations.
Several accountability issues were raised in the report which included payment of fines by businesses that were levied on, which were not done in accordance with the Public Emergency Response of Coordination regulations of 2020
The document indicated that such has resulted in a revenue loss The cost of Le 31.75 million..
Also Le16.03 million collected as fines by three District Covid-19 Emergency Response Centres we (DICOVERCs) in Kono, Tonkolili Karene were not deposited into the designated NaCOVERC account at the Rokel Commercial Bank for almost the period under review.
In this regard, the Audit recommends that “The Chairman of fur NaCOVERC should ensure that Enforcement Team provides a reasonable and convincing explanation with evidence, regarding the inconsistent application of the regulation, or the amount to be recovered from the team.”