Traders Council Sierra Leone on Operation Shift Back
The Traders Council Sierra Leone which comprises several trade unions has embarked on Operation Shift Back to decongest 17 main streets in Freetown within the Central Business District (CBD). (Photo: Vice President for Trade Council Sierra Leone, Foday Sahid Kamara)
Speaking to Journalists in Freetown, the Vice President (VP) for Traders Council, Foday Sahid Kamara reiterated that the exercise is aimed at decongesting the city so that road users could have free passage and parking space for vehicles but quickly disputed the fact that no provision was made for parking grounds.
He said the project which is titled “Mission for Freetown Integrated Urban Transport Project” was supported by the World Bank adding that the project implementation started since September 2018.
The Vice President affirmed that no business or trading activities should take place in all the seventeen demarcated streets including Circular Road, Goderich Street, Siaka Stevens Street, Walpole Street, George Street, Lamina Sankoh Street, Pa Demba Road and beyond adding that those streets are spared from business activities for the purpose of beautification and tourist attraction.
He said Operation Shift Back can only be instituted within streets which are not part of the seventeen demarcated roads for the free flow of traffic adding that the Traders Council has engaged Chairmen and Chairladies to sensitize their subject on the essence of the operation.
He said they are not working in isolation but in collaboration with the Freetown City Council and the Metropolitan Police to complete Government effort and described the Traders Council as a pressure group representing the interest of traders.
He admonished the Marshalls to not take drastic action against traders when executing their duty and he wasted no time to described traders as stubborn people. He said the Marshalls have rights to advise traders to shift back but anyone who fails to abide by their directives will face the full penalty of the law.
Mr. Kamara concord that there must be disorderly people in any society but they should be regulated within the confines of the law and assured the public that the process is going to be sustainable because they have a monitoring group and a joint force to supervise the exercise.
“The traders Council was formed because they believe as traders, they cannot succeed if they work in fragmentation”, said the Vice President and encouraged all activists in the trade unionism to work as a family and achieve their goal of national development.
He explained plan to visit markets across the country to know the problems traders are facing and stressed that “If we speak with one voice, even Government will not intervene in our activities because traders are pivotal in any development of a country”, he told colleague business men and emphasized on the important for any trader to be a member of the Trade Council by registering and paying dues.
He encouraged traders to be law abiding because according to him, no clause in the national constitution that gives right for traders to sell in the street adding that traders are allowed to sell in the street as a result of the lack of job facility in the country.
By Abdulai Mento Kamara
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