In a recent statement, Augustine Sorie-Sengbe Marrah ESQ, a prominent social advocate, has voiced his concerns about ongoing developments along Sierra Leone’s vital Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority(EDSA). The main focus of his apprehensions revolves around taxation and service quality challenges associated with the ongoing insufficient electricity supply.
EDSA, a crucial electricity agency in Sierra Leone, has been facing issues with inconsistent electricity supply, particularly in Freetown, in recent times. Sengbe has highlighted the puzzling relationship between taxation policies and the quality of services provided.
He questions the reasoning behind raising taxes and tariffs while EDSA is making efforts to reduce blackouts and brownouts. Sengbe emphasizes that in countries where leaders prioritize their citizens’ well-being, higher taxes often translate into more efficient and improved public services. For instance, Switzerland, ranked as the No. 1 country on the 2022 Human Development Index (HDI), imposes high personal taxes but offers its citizens a wide range of high-quality public services. In Sierra Leone, however, the situation seems to be the opposite, with citizens burdened by excessive taxes while receiving inadequate or no services. This raises concerns that these taxes might be primarily funding the lavish lifestyles of politicians rather than benefiting the people they are elected to represent.
In his statement, he wrote “Why increase taxes and tarrifs when EDSA is improving on blackouts and brownouts? In other places where leaders care about their people beyond rhetorics, high taxes mean corresponding high/efficient services. For e.g., Switzerland, the No.1 country on the 2022 HDI, has very high personal tax regime, but the govt provides numerous high quality public services for its people. In Sierra Leone, it is the reverse. Our leaders over-tax us and over-starve us with very poor or zero service. It seems our taxes are only good to fund our politicians and their exotic tastes.”
Furthermore, Sengbe rightly questions the rationale behind increasing taxes and tariffs when essential services like electricity struggle to meet demand. This brings into question the government’s priorities and whether tax revenue is being effectively utilized to enhance public services.
Sengbe’s concerns underscore a broader issue of transparency and accountability within the government. If taxes are not leading to improved services, it raises doubts about the allocation of funds and the need for proper oversight.
Ultimately, Sengbe’s message emphasizes the importance of prioritizing the welfare of citizens. It is crucial for leaders to ensure that taxation policies are designed to benefit the people they serve rather than burdening them with excessive financial demands.
In conclusion, Sengbe’s public expression serves as a call to action for policymakers in Sierra Leone to reevaluate their taxation policies and how funds are allocated to enhance public services and infrastructure. This, in turn, can lead to an improved quality of life for the citizens of Sierra Leone.