August 29, 2018
By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
Peace Africa Alliance Consulting, Education & Training Centre (PAACET), Society for Learning and Yearning for Equal Opportunities (SLYEO) and other civil society partners have in a press conference yesterday raised concern over the activities of scammers, who are seriously affecting investment climate in the country.
‘’Peace Africa Alliance Consulting ,Educating & Training (PAACET) ,Society for Learning and Yearning for Equal Opportunities (SLYEO ) and other civil society partners in Sierra Leone have been following with keen interest the level of criminality surrounding the investment climate in Sierra Leone,” the release states, adding that in a press conference held on the 19th July,2018 ,the organizations brought to the attention of the government of President Bio that they have been receiving reports of some unscrupulous Sierra Leoneans and their cohorts who were involved in criminalising the investment climate especially in the sale of gold and diamonds.
Reading the press statement, the Africa Regional Director of PAACET, Charles Lahai, said if urgent actions were not instituted by government, genuine investors will continue to suffer unduly in the hands of criminals, stating that the ugly development has the potential to put the country’s image in a bad light and undermines the efforts of Government to improve its domestic revenue base.
According to the Rights groups, economic and social implications were of greater concern; more so that it was rubbing the government of taxes it could generate to provide necessary social protection services.
‘’PAACET and partners have been raising awareness on this situation recognising further that if it is not interrupted ,the level of inequalities in the distribution of national wealth and the tendency for state fragility will heighten,” the release states.
The organisations viewed the act as an economic crime which has the tendency to prevent genuine investors from investing in the country, adding that Sierra Leoneans must step up to construct their own path to their destiny.
“All hands must be put on deck to help government interrupt and eradicate such criminal practices in order to create and promote a conducive investment environment,’’ said Charles Lahai.
‘’We call on the Sierra Leone Police, the Criminal Investigations Department, the immigrations Department ,the National Mineral Agency (NMA ) and the Government Gold and Diamond Office (GGDO) to increase their efforts to put these threats under control .We call on government to institute a thorough systems review in the business development sector particularly institutions responsible for legitimising business operations in and out of Sierra Leone,’’ the statement concludes.