There doesn't seem to be any end to the woes of Ernest Koroma's appointments. I don't know if this is the same Abdulai Conteh chap I know from his mediocre days at St. Edward's Secondary school. If he is then Ernest Koroma is ideeed a failure to our beloved nation.
[Culled from Standard Times]
Finance Director Turns National Revenue Authority Into ‘Gold Mine”
Posted by on Nov 21, 2010, 09:16
With a Board of Directors that appears fragile and disintegrating, every Jack and Jill can take advantage of its present condition and get away with it without suffering any consequences. The National Revenue Authority is a typical example of a state institution that has been left to fate, despite the presence of a constituted Board of Directors to oversee and regulate the operations of the Authority.
|One of the Many House Finance Officer Conteh is Building in Freetown|
What has become evidently clear even to the doubting Thomas’s is the undisputable fact that the Authority has been transformed into a gold mine where Finance Directors and Accountants having access to money can use every available means in their disposition to better themselves at the detriment of the Authority. Mr Abdulai Conteh is the Director of Finance at the National Revenue Authority (NRA).
|Another of the Many House Finance Officer Conteh is Building in Freetown|
His engagement at the Authority has been viewed by many as suspicious, not only for failing to produce his academic and professional credentials to back up his Curriculum Vitae, but has proved to be incompetent for the job and relies on his colleagues to make a pass mark and cover his back.
While Mr. Conteh may be thinking that his professional deformity has not been detected, those who are his rescuers are always making mockery of him anytime he needed their assistance. Sources say he is very satisfied with the job and has accepted it with open minds and hands because of the financial benefit he is deriving from it in the midst of a fragile Board and myopic management team.
In less than 18 months in office, he has been able to build two houses without going through any financial headache. His sources of revenue has never dried up and would never experienced drought as long he continues to occupy the position of Director of Finance, while others are left to fend for themselves in the midst of scare resources.
The Anti Corruption Commission, while penalizing Civil Servants, Government Ministers and Members of Parliament for failing to comply with the Assets Declaration Policy, Mr. Conteh’s case is different. Going through some of the Declaration Forms at the Commission, Mr. Conteh; whether deliberately or not, has failed to supply the Commission with relevant information regarding his Assets and has been allowed to continue in office without being interrogated by officials of the Anti Corruption Commission as to why he has failed to furnish the Commission as others have done with the necessary information.
With this; and other privileges enjoyed by him he continues to acquire Assets allegedly using monies from the National Revenue Authority (NRA). After completing his Hill Station site, Mr. Conteh is now transforming his single flat, bought years back at 18, Pricilla Street to a two-storey modern building. He may have to explain to officials at the Anti Corruption Commission if they care to know where the funds are coming from for his building projects. He may have to surrender copies of his tax returns in America to convince them that he was well paid and had saved a lot of money prior to taking up the job as Director of Finance.
Investigation conducted by this medium at the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank has revealed that as the Director of Finance, Mr. Conteh has an unlimited access to a number of accounts operated by his institution at the Bank. Apart from the Fixed Deposit account to which he is a signatory and the operational account, he is also a signatory to the NRA Anti-Smuggling Account established at the Commercial bank with number 001-113826-10-00-01, SLCB.
The Anti Smuggling account, it would be recalled was opened in mid 2005 as part of the NRA’s efforts to facilitate revenue generation through combating smuggling. The anti-smuggling incentive account was intended to accept deposits of penalties imposed on persons caught smuggling. Of such penalties imposed, 50 percent is expected to go to the Consolidated Revenue Fund while the other 50 percent is paid into this account out of which 10 percent is incentive for the informant.
Disbursements of funds from this account should be those amounts agreed upon by management on the advice of the Board as incentive to informant whose tip-off facilitated the catch. Meant solely for payment incentives to informants and PSSD operations. The account was intended to be separate and distinct from the mainstream NRA operating account that services all aspects of the authority’s activities.
Because of this rigid adherence to rules in the past, the balance in the anti-smuggling account built up over the years through the tireless efforts of personnel at the PSSD (Preventive Services and Security Department) and continued to yield dividends- until recently when money-gulping vultures like Mr. Abdulai Conteh emerges on the authority’s landscape.
The use of fund from this account now not for PSSD activities but for purposes to cushion adverse liquidity, the effect resulting from the real operating account funds tied down inappropriately and unnecessarily in their interest-yielding Fixed Deposit account. Even with that, the use of the fund is arbitrarily selective: Payment of leave allowances- only to those in the “good” books of the Director of Finance and the Ag. Commissioner General.
Payment of per diem for luxury trips abroad on activities not connected with PSSD operations and also meeting the needs of Harriett Coker, parlour wife of the Director of Finance. She was a bank employee, but currently employed by the Authority’s Director of Finance as his mistress in his villa at IMATT. Sources say she recently lost her three months old baby boy named after his father and was flown abroad as part of the consolation package and on her arrival she was relocated to Conteh’s IMATT villa.