March 15, 2019
By Joseph S. Margai
Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Rev. Abraham James Sesay-Jones, has disclosed that a Guinean flour producing company, Sonoco Flour Company, has been brought into the country in order to salvage the flour crisis that recently hit Freetown.
The Deputy Minister made the above disclosure in the usual government press briefing yesterday (14th March, 2019) at Youyi Building, where he also said the company has already imported lots of flour from Guinea and that bread bakers and sellers were now plying their trade peacefully.
He said his ministry has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Sonoco and plans were underway for the establishment of their company’s branch in Freetown.
“When the company opens its branch here, it would be an addition to the existing flour mill in the country. They are here to stay and ensure that we never experience such ugly development like the recent flour crisis. We are running a free market economy and we will not tolerate monopoly,” he said.
He also disclosed that his ministry has ensured that quality flour was imported in the country and the manufacture of such flour insists that there is no need for additives when baking bread because it contains vitamin and every other nutrients that a flour should possess.
He said an anonymous baker brought to his ministry some loaves of bread so as to ascertain that the quality of the flour that was imported from Guinean.
“If the bakers could attest that the quality of the flour was good and the consumers have never complained about the flour’s quality, it’s an indication that the government would always cater for the best for every Sierra Leonean,” he stated.
According to him, there were not enough manufacturing factories in the country and that the government was making frantic efforts to ensuring that factories were set up, and subsequently provide jobs for the Sierra Leonean populace.
“Over 90 percent of what we consume is imported. For instance, the country spends over US$200 million on rice importation every year. We want to promote local industry and we will as well encourage foreign ones to come and set up factories here,” he said.
The deputy minister said his ministry is always ready to ensuring that whenever there is a crisis like the recently shortage of flour, a quick fix and sustainable solutions are available.