Addressing the representatives of NGOs and INGOs in Committee room 3, Parliament Building, the Chairman of the Committee on NaCSA and NGOs, Hon. Dr. Foday Roland Kargbo said that it is incumbent on MPs to probe and ensure that every INGO and NGO operates within its mandate and to effectively direct donor funds to the benefit of their constituents. He further allayed the fear of every INGO and NGO that the Committee is not created to stop their genuine operations, but to make them more credible and attractive to source better donor funds around the globe. “Our role is to ensure that donor funds are used to benefit the real beneficiaries,” Hon. Dr. Kargbo said.
The Committee probed into INGOs and NGOs on various areas ranging from compliance of local laws and administrative policies, their certifications, mandates, budgets, implementing and donor partners, areas of operation, beneficiaries, work and residential permits of international staff, structures, sustainability, challenges, and the welfare and service of all staff, especially locals’.
The Committee, among other things, advised every INGO and NGO to ensure that the PAYE tax of staff is directed to the National Revenue Authority (NRA), intimating that they should further ensure to fulfill the National Social Security Insurance Trust (NASSIT) requirement of their staff. The Committee further admonished that every international expatriate should have a residential and working permits before they start work in Sierra Leone, adding that the local content policies should be adhered to regarding the employment of qualified Sierra Leoneans as expatriates in that this would help to reduce overhead cost of donor projects.
Among others, the NGOs and INGOs that were investigated on oath range from the National Commission on Social Action (NaCSA), CARITAS Sierra Leone, World Vision, Street Child Sierra Leone, TEAR Fund, Action Aid Sierra Leone, Focus 1000, to World Hope International . They lauded the selfless endeavor of the Committee to understand their operations, adding that they are happy in that the Committee would make their job much easier to undertake. They asserted that though they are facing some challenges as NGOs their work is to complement the developmental aspiration of the federal government. They pleaded for the Committee to aid them appeal to government for donor items to have duty concessions for these items are requested for the development and capacity of their target beneficiaries. They further pleaded that the Committee recommend to local authorities the ammonization of registration fees to operate around the country.
Honorable Members of the Committee promised that they would recommend every good and performing NGO or INGO to ensure that they are better capacitated to do more and to sustain their operations and relationships with donor partners in and out of the country. MPs added they would go on oversight tour to further substantiate claims made by NaCSA and NGOs.