At Commissions of Enquiry … Over Le2Bn. Excess Payment to Limkokwing University Exposed

Sia Lusane, a witness for the State from the Ministry of Education, has told the ongoing Justice Biobele Commission of Enquiry that the Auditor General’s Report for 2016 revealed that an excess payment of two billion Leones was made to the Limkokwing Creative Technology of Malaysia for the 2016/2017 academic year by the Principal Accountant at the Ministry of Education.
She explained that the Ministry of Education did not make available the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Sierra Leone and Limkokwing University, but the auditors saw an invoice from the University to the Government of Sierra Leone requesting for a payment to the tune of Le 9,877,400,000 for the first set of 600 students out of 1,200 Government of Sierra Leone sponsored students studying at the University of Limkokwing.
Madam Sia Lusane continued that a review of the Ministry’s payment analysis showed that Government paid a total of Le10 billion Leones in excess of Le 122,000,000 as stated in the University’s invoice for the 1st installment of students who benefitted from the Government of Sierra Leone sponsored scholarship.
Government, the auditor continued, was supposed to pay an outstanding balance of 50% for another total of 600 students amounting to Le 9,877,400,000.
Another analysis of the Ministry’s payments, the witness added, also revealed that the Ministry paid a total of over Le12, 110, 420 billion showing an excess of over Le 2,632,660 billion to the University of Limkokwing.
A former Permanent Secretary at the Ministry told the Commission that he was a signatory to the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Sierra Leone and the Malaysian University but could not tell the contents of the MOU.
The witness exposed a lot of financial improprieties at the Ministry of Education in contravention of Section 73 (1) (3) of the Financial Management Regulations Act.
Madam Lusane is the second witness led by the state on the ongoing probe into the activities of the Ministry of Education under the watch of Dr.Minkailu Bah.

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