Big Trouble for NGOs in Sierra Leone

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Dr. Francis Kaikai

By Theresa Vamboi

Non-Governmental Organisations in Sierra Leone are facing new challenges over a new act that intends to regulate their finances over their clients or beneficiaries.  According to investigative reports being monitored by this press, it is intimidated that the transactions between local Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the country and their foreign partners or donors will soon face strict scrutiny.

The new proposed policy or law by Government will see NGOs/CSOs commit 70% of their allocations to their target beneficiaries, and retain 30% in taxes and management cost.

Few months back, the Ministry of Economic Planning held series of meetings with NGOs/CSOs for the full implementation of the policy which among other things includes the 70% quota. Though the matter is still unresolved between Government and the NGO Community yet sources say that the focus is to strip-off NGOs of 70% resources to go directly benefitting beneficiaries than rippling off them.

It is also noted that CEOs of NGOs are exploiting their beneficiaries by failing to implement full resources on them.  Corruption and exploitation have surfaced as the main reasons why the NGOs/CSOs have been subject to the new rules soon to be implemented. Meanwhile, the NGO community has debunked the allegations as merely trumpeted and politically motivated. As far as they are concerned, they have not agreed with government proposal on the issue.

 

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