October 2, 2022

All professed democratic governments have been striving to be egalitarian. It is a desideration worth achieving.
The New Direction government can come closer with dogged determination.
In a similar way there has not been equality of status in any human organization otherwise life would nehurndrum.
What are we practicing in Sierra Leone as a form of government?
It looks like Western democracy tainted with capitalism and in this regard the country’s trade and industry are supposed to be controlled by private owners.
Here the country’s trade and industry are controlled mainly by the government and so we do not qualify as a capitalist state.
Government is the main employer in contra-distinction from developed countries in which the private sector takes center stage.
That said let us have a brief look at our models of work and compensation.
In most developed countries manual labour is equally compensated as intellectual input if not more in certain cases.
In most developing countries technical and vocational education is treated with contempt after diligent service.
The exception here is that the Ministers, Director-Generals or Chief Executive Officers award themselves a disproportionate portion of the national cake leaving the rest of the workers with crumbs that are sometimes pecked by chicken or lapped by dogs.
This brings us home to our own former Director General of the Petroleum Directorate (PD), Raymond Saidu Kargbo, who earned over Le 9 billion in 5 years.
In 2016 he earned Le1.131 billion in salary with over Le904 million in allowances and a gross salary of over Le 2.035 billion for the year 2017.
The former PD DG received Le 1.46 billion as salary, Le1.136 billion as emoluments and Le2.599 billion as gross salary.
The bad news here is that Mr. Raymond Kargbo is not by any means a politician.
He has ineluctably opened the lid on the surreptitious role of bureaucrats in corrupt practices while politicians seem to carry all the blame.
In the same manner when J.F Kamara was Anti-Corruption Commissioner he was said to have been earning about Le 48 million monthly and some thought that was the end of the line-up.
Now we know that the bureaucracy was thick inside which is why the opposition parties were insisting that Permanent Secretaries be investigated.
When Mr. Kargbo’s salaries and allowances were pitted against those of other useful citizens like the Auditor General or Director Generals of other MDAs, you may be wondering about his schedule of duties of the singular importance of petroleum as the rational for his out-of-this world salary and allowances.
Are other MDA heads who have not appeared before the Commission not earning similar salaries? If so is it justifiable in this economy?
We agree that there can be no absolute equality of wages but we can bridge the gap.
The astronomical amounts of some of these heads should be scaled down and added to the pay of the lower echelons.
The minimum wage is Le 600,000 (not a living wage).
‘’Equality of condition is incompatible and is found only to exist in those communities that are but slightly removed from the savage state. In practice it can only mean a common misery” by J. Feminore Cooper.
Sierra Leone can still work forward on egalitarian society.