Guinea gives rice to Salone – No more global for them?
The Minister of Political Affairs Friday 16th confirmed to Sierra Leoneans that the Guinean government has offered on loan, a total of about 2,000 tons of rice to the government of Sierra Leone.
Hon. Alpha Kanu made this disclosure while explaining achievements of the ruling All People Congress (APC) party to Radio Democracy 98.1 FM as they celebrate four years of governance.
He nevertheless told the susceptible public that the 2,000 tons of rice was underway and would arrive in Sierra Leone in less a day as at time of disclosure.
“The rice,” he said, “is 2,000 tons and will be conveyed by road to Sierra Leone.”
“It is indeed true that the rice was offered on loan to the government of President Koroma by President Alpha Conde of Guinea.”
Asked the actual cost for the 2,000 tons of rice, he begged to be excused and said the transaction was between two Presidents.
“It was President Koroma who called President Alpha Conde and asked him help his country with at least 2,000 tons of rice, which the latter undeniably heeded to,” Alpha Kanu said.
“As for cost, it will be worked out by the economists. All we are concerned about is providing food for the helpless public.”
Hours after Alpha Kanu’s proof of fact concerning the rice, our northern correspondent confirmed to us that three trucks were spotted along the Kambia highway transporting rice to Freetown.
It could be recalled that the accelerated hardship in Sierra Leone has been attributed to the observed global depression.
The Sierra Leone government, on a number of occasions rested the blame of hardship on the world’s economic downward twist.
Guinea, which also is one of world’s poorest countries, experienced the global twist and was reportedly selling a bag of rice for about three hundred thousand franks – some two hundred thousand leones – in equivalent to the Sierra Leone currency.
It is a concern nonetheless that Guinea which, according to evaluations, was worse than Sierra Leone in the area of hardship in 2009- 2010, now boosts Sierra Leone with tonnage of rice.
Be it known that the Sierra Leone Minister of Agriculture, Sam Sesay, months to the Guinea Presidential elections assured Sierra Leoneans that the country has had a bumper harvest in rice.
He affirmed also that Sierra Leone is self sufficient in terms of rice, but warned against smuggling same to neighbouring countries.
Despite the Minister’s pronouncement, the prices of rice continued to trek up on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
Traders, a number of times, faced arrest at respective checkpoints for attempting to smuggle rice to neighbouring Guinea; a country which up until 2010, needed food for its people.
Public’s assessments is that if Guinea is capable of supplying 2,000 tons of rice to Sierra Leone, it is sure that the much talked about global hardship by particularly the government of President Koroma, no longer holds.
Precisely, 2,000 tons of rice apparently gives a total of about four million bags; at exactly 20 bags per tonnage.
Statistics have shown that the enormity of rice allegedly brought from Guinea apparently good enough to reach poor Sierra Leoneans – at least a bag per person countrywide.
The question many have raised is that the supposed tonnage of rice reportedly transported on board three trucks, appears to be doubtful as transportation of such quantity of rice requires ten or more trucks.
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