Bread saga: Native Consortium calls for amicable solution

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February 22, 2019

By Ibrahim Tarawallie

bread
Fighting for the poor,Edmond Abu demands amicable solution

The Native Consortium and Research Centre (NCRC) has demanded an immediate amicable solution from both the bakers union and the government through the Ministry of Finance with regards the current shortage and rise in the price of bread across the country.

On Tuesday February 19, 2019, the baker’s union commenced a week long sit down strike action in protest over the rising price of a bag of flour from Le250, 000 to Le310s, 000.

The sudden strike, which has been called-off, came as a surprise to many Sierra Leoneans, who saw bread as part of their staple food.

Executive Director of Native Consortium, Edmond Abu, noted the grave effect of the scarcity of bread to consumers and urged the bakers to be patient with the government in putting across their concerns.

He said consumers should not suffer over the hike in the price of flour, adding that the scarcity issue must not be trivialised.

“We have observed that bread bakers have formed unions that have expressed concerns with a seat down strike action over the hike in the price of flour. This has affected Sierra Leoneans who sees bread as their partial stable food,” he said and urged the ministry to speedily solve the issue with minimum delay.

He stated that when they participated in the recent 2019 budget discussion, they appreciate the fiscal move by the minister to slash a tax cut on the tariff of flour.

According to him, they were expecting the new tariff to have reflected and trickled down on the price of a loaf of bread or size, but to no avail.

 “We appreciate the government for this but what happens between the manufacturers and/or importers of flour is what we want government to investigate and bring representatives of the bakers’ importers/manufacturers to the negotiating table for a way out. Since they have now spoken, they must now seat with the government to find solutions,” Mr. Abu urged.

Meanwhile, Commissioner General of the National Revenue Authority (NRA) Dr.Samuel Jibao has yesterday told the popular Good Morning Salone Programme of Radio Democracy 98.1 that the hike in the price of flour was not as a result of tax increase in the country, but was due to certain external factors.

He noted that the country is dependent on import hence could not determine the price of flour, thus urging the need for local production of the said commodity.