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Sierra Leone Traders in Agony!

Sierra Leone Traders in Agony!

Traders at the Sewa Grounds, commonly known as Victoria Park in the Business District Center have lamented over what they describe as “deplorable conditions” of doing business in an unhealthy and insecure environment. (Photo: Sewa Grounds Business Center- white elephant)

They bitterly complained that they could not comprehend the rational of a magnificent structure meant for them is unoccupied, while they conduct their business in the rain and the hot burning sun as the case may be.

 “We are suffering and our wares are not safe”, said Mohamed Conteh, who deals in textiles, adding that the government had prevented them for occupying the building the building even though it was fit for the purpose.

Osman Jalloh, who sells footwear, described the authorities as “callous and inhuman”, pointing out that they were doing business under hash and unhealthy environment, while foreigners are treated with uttermost dignity and respect, thereby putting indigenous business men at a disadvantage.

Jalloh was quick to make comparisons in neighboring Guinea, Senegal and Ivory Coast, where the local business community enjoy modern convenience in their trade.

“The government should not treat us with levity as we are driver of economic growth”, Jalloh charged.

Sullay Bangura, drew attention of the Bio administration to the fact the construction of the unoccupied structures was not Government money and that it is foolhardy for Government to not make sensible use of the building giving traders access into it and make returns.

“It is NASSIT money contributed by employees”, he said, adding that NASSIT stands to lose huge revenues by not allowing traders to do business in the building.

It can be recalled that the building in question though almost completed in 2018 before the change of Government, the new Government instituted an investigation into the manner in which funds were disbursed to implement the project, which has resulted in the rather unfortunate situation of neither giving access to traders nor finishing the work, over three years on.         

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