The Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesperson of the Office of the President, Sierra Leone, Yusuf Keketoma Sandi has said that the country was making steady economic progress before Covid-19 came and halted it.

He made this assertion during the Hot Seat Programme with Amadu Lamrana Bah at the African Young Voices (AYV) television.

The Presidential Spokesman was speaking about the successes of President Julius Maada Bio as he marked four years in office.

According to Sandi they were able to remove the economy on life support through domestic revenue mobilization.

He stated that by 2017 the domestic revenue of the country was at 12.3 percent, noting that in 2018 they increased it to 13.7 percent, and before 2018 they moved it to 14.8 percent.

Sandi however said that due to Covid-19 all of the progress they have made was wiped off, stating that by 2020 the domestic revenue was reduced to 13.8 percent and inflation increases.

The Presidential Spokesman said by the time they come to power, they had a trajectory of how to move the country forward, but that was cut off when Covid-19 emerged.

He added that as a result of that cut, the economy was affected and everything has changed.

Sandi however stated that initiated quick economic programmes to specifically manage the impact of Covid-19.

He gave instances of how they allocated Le500 Million to support citizens and importers that are in the private sector to ensure that there are commodities in the market.

The Press Secretary further noted that they started the emergency cash transfer for traders, and at the same time through NaCSA they started giving monies to people with disabilities.

He reiterated that the trajectory they started with and the increases they made were sign of the progress they were making before Covid-19 came and affected everything.

Sandi however said that they are implementing policies to address the existing issues of Covid-19.

An excerpt of the interview is posted below πŸ‘‡