By Sam Pratt
In the wake of varying discussions and arguments over the payment of end of service benefits to some former Government functionaries the Government of Sierra Leone has ended the long-drawn row with many of the country’s former diplomatic staff, including information attaches who served in the country’s embassies and high commissions overseas, over the non-payment of their end of service benefits.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Finance disclosed that the outstanding payment of End of Service Benefits to all those who served overseas either as Information or Cultural Attaches, during the APC administration of President Ernest Bai Koroma between 2007 and 2018, have now been partly settled.
The amount disbursed is said to represent 50% of the total amount due as payment of End of Service Benefits to former Information and Cultural Attaches.
The amount disbursed so far is Le2,054,464,375.8 (Two Billion, fifty four million, four hundred and sixty four thousand, three hundred and seventy five Leones and eight cents).
The biggest beneficiary is the publisher and editor of Cokorioko Online Newspaper – Reverend Leroy Kabs-Kanu (Photo), who served as Minister Counselor and Plenipotentiary at the Sierra Leone Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. He received Le212, 454,421.325.
Lansana Fadika, is also among some of the biggest beneficiaries, after serving as Cultural and Trade attaché at the Sierra Leone Embassy in Beijing, China.
Early this year, President Bio approved the payment of millions of dollars in end of service payments to former Minsters and senior public officials of the Koroma APC Government.
Many observers believe that these payments will go a long way to bridging some of the deep-rooted differences between the Government and the opposition APC party, as well as help to build trust and confidence.