To Reduce Prices Of Consumer Commodities… MPs Engage Trade and Industry Ministry

Parliamentary Members of the Committee on Finance, and Trade and Industry of the Fifth Parliament of Sierra Leone on Tuesday 28th August 2018 engaged the Ministry of Trade and Industry on the reduction of prices of consumer commodities.

In her opening statement in the Conference Room of the New Administrative Building of Parliament, the Chairman of the Committee on Trade and Industry: Hon. Veronica K. Sesay enlightened that their engagement with the Trade Ministry is a facts finding based on the desperation of the public to know the rationale behind the increase in price of consumer commodities, and the high exchange rate on foreign exchange to Leones.

Addressing MPs, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Peter Bayuku Konteh said, “The ministry is the engine of economic growth.” He emphasized that the recent rise in price of consumer commodities is mainly because the value of the Leones is inevitably tired with that of the dollar, adding that some business people are taking advantage of the present situation to increase prices of goods and services within the country. He continued that it is also because of the fact that Sierra Leone exports little than she imports. He recalled that this is the rationale behind President Bio’s vision to diversify the economy by prioritizing the development of diverse economic sectors like Tourism, Agriculture, and the like.

The Trade Minister said that he is aware of the fact that the concerns of Parliament are those of the public. He outlined various strides that his Ministry had taken to salvage the issues of regular price increase of consumer commodities in the country, underscoring that the Trade Ministry had empowered its Trade Monitoring team to monitor the prices of essential commodities like rice, and other food stuffs in the market.  He added that his Ministry is also planning to diversify fuel storage in diverse parts of the country, including BO, Makeni, and Kenema District Headquarter Towns.

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Rev. Abraham James Sesay-jones confirmed that Government had increased the demurrage period of imported goods from 3 – 5 working days, adding that the Trade Ministry is effectively monitoring the reduction of prices of other commodities like flour, and beverage which taxes had been reduced by the New Direction.

Members of the aforementioned Committees advised the Trade Ministry to continue to monitor the reduction of prices of commodities which taxes had been reduced by President Bio, adding that they should discourage the black-market of dollar, encourage more investment into the economy, and so on. 

The Chairman of the Finance Committee in Parliament, Hon. Frances Kia Samba, encouraged the ministry to do more and promised to work with the ministry of trade to actualized the objectives of the New Direction.

on 28 August 2018