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Up the sleeves – these prices again

Up the sleeves – these prices again

The price of basic commodities has rocketed beyond the pockets of late as if it is a tradition that hardship should be commonplace when the month of fasting comes.

There is a scale drain of commercial activities in the capital Freetown due to the heavy fall of torrential rains, and yes we understand a weigh down of the economy is in place since workers take home packages are no longer capable of financing the daily stomaching project as a result of a higher value note of the country’s legal tender.

Sierra Leone is run on both import and internal resource flows which means commodities that are imported like fish, palm oil, cassava leaves, potato leaves, etc., are bound to run short at certain off-picks.

This is now the case here in Freetown. There is a limited of supply which has drawn vacancies over the commodities, making the prices skyrocket.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry in collaboration with the Importers Association sometime ago formed a joint venture movement to checkmate and stabilize the price of basic commodities through a pricing mechanism survey. The idea came up following a 21 days protest ultimatum, the Coalition of Youth had threatened the government should they fail to regulate the unprecedented sky rocketing of prices of basic commodities. The situation by then was not just the hike on prices of basic commodities, but of unprecedented inflation having a float of the foreign currency exchange. Such was the situation in a determinant factor that is responsible for the shift drips of unregulated prices sold of basic commodities. Now, latest reports from markets indicate that there is not enough fish in the market. Having projected this in the midst of inflow resources, the media has made several alerts to be concerned of the public that certain fishing vessels have been flouting the regulations of off-shore fishing as against the in-shore riverine restriction; much to the disadvantage of aqua-marine protection of breeding sites of some of the fishes.

The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources sometime ago spoke about efforts they have launched in concert with the naval wing of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces to nip in the bud various activities of pirates on Sierra Leone water ways.

Our standpoint here is that the government needs to stand firm in following up some of these developments to avert a reverse of their premier effort in the past on the same issue

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  • This is a grave situation indeed. Hunger is the one thing that we must avoid at all costs for without nourishment people die in vast numbers. With such a long coastline Sierra Leone should not be importing fish for our people. We need a proper Coast Guard not a pseudo Navy to protect our coastal waters and avoid the continued plundering of our natural food supplies. When our people read about how well the country is supposed to be doing in the World, it all sounds so hollow. Govt, please act without delay before its too late!

    7th August 2012

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