The Sierra Leone government has said it will save US$2 million (Le15billion) in wage bill by cutting down a bloated number of employees hired by the former office of Presidential Chief of Staff.The office of the current president said Tuesday this amount was paid to some 106 employees, out of which only five were civil servants. It said the remaining were politically appointed contractual jobs.

President Julius Maada Bio’s new government, in office since April 4, has since squashed the office of Chief of Staff and replaced it with the Chief Minister, a new portfolio. Prof. David Francis, chairman of the presidential transition team, has been appointed to that position.

Prof. Francis is quoted in a statement from the President’s Press Secretary as expressing determination to cut down on the exorbitant wage bill created by the last government by cutting on staff.

“We have inherited a battered economy and this new Government cannot afford to maintain offices created in the previous administration based on political compensation,” he said, adding: “We are going to review the governance structure and every office must be fit for
purpose. Our focus is to deliver on the key strategic priorities using a lean structure that is efficient and cost effective. There is no more business as usual.”