September 18, 2019
By James Dennis Conteh
Native Consortium and Research Centre has in a statement issued yesterday pegged the depreciation of the Leone to the United States Dollars on a diverse criminal enterprise involving black marketers and money launderers inside the banks.
“The consortium holds the firm position that the depreciation of the Leone is artificial, caused by money launders within the banks, and the consortium is not moved by their threats, because we are determined to expose the dark sides of money laundering activities,” the statement reads.
“We are absolutely dismayed by the depreciation of the Leone, which is reflecting on the declining standard of living for the ordinary man and the continuous sky rocketing of prices of basic commodities.”
The consortium recommended among other things, heavy crack down on and surveillance of money launders and their insider colluders within the banks, and serious engagement of the public on the use of the Leone’s as a legal tender.
They recommended also that government should strike a balance between sovereign debt and social spending, and put much premium on concessional loans that do not reflect on the country’s balance sheet going forward.
“We commend the GoSL for fiscal consolidation and to leapfrog revenue mobilization but we think controlling the wage bill is crucial going forward.GoSL should mobilize more revenue in the Fishing, Agriculture, Tourism and service sector. We are diametrically opposed to the GoSL for allowing the Chinese to Police our marine resources, especially fish. Research shows that the illegal fishing along the coast of West Africa is being carried out by Chines vessels causing a $ 2 Billion USD loss per annum. Moreover, adding value to the supply chain on our minerals is also critical to economic diversification.”
They noted that in as much as government was seeking Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), their unwavering position is that GoSL should strike a balance between FDI and driving the local Businesses sector.
They disclosed that they were holding Consultations with the World Bank/IMF and the Finance Ministry for an economic summit in the shape of a broad-based National Consultative Conference with the Drivers of the economy, the Non State Actors, the Development Partners, and the Informal Sector to find the way forward for our economy.