Trade Ministry constrained with logistics

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By Hassan Gbassay

The Deputy Director of  Policy, Planning and Research at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Kossy Max Sesay, has revealed that, the Ministry is challenged with logistics and that, they only have two vehicles that assigned to the Minister and the Permanent Secretary.

He said they  are also  constrained with inadequate office space  representation in the regions.

He was speaking at the Ministry of Finance Conference Hall during the 2024 budget hearing process.

He cited also cited inadequate and late disbursement of government allocations as among the challenges they were grappling with.

He stated that  the Ministry in 2022 generated a total of NLe817.664 million, including NLe37.554 million from the Integrated Trade Services, NLe6.679 million from the Produce Monitoring Board, NLe867.14 Mill from Petroleum Regulatory Agency, NLe3.170 from the Sierra Leone Standard Bureau and NLe3.121 million from the Sierra Leone Produce Marketing Company.

He said part of their deliverables includes the enactment of the Special Economic Zone Policy, National Industrial Policy, Cooperatives Policy, Agribusiness Policy, National Strategy approved by cabinet, Trade and National Quality Infrastructure.

He cited that they also rolled out the National Micro Finance MỤNFA Fund and 10,032 beneficiaries received the loan.

 He said  12 financial service providers recruited 4000 women owned SMES in business development services, with a second crop of 60 SMEs in Agro processing selected along various value chains nationwide.

He said some of their strategy for revenue mobilisation for the financial year 2024 includes effective and efficient revenue mobilization to support government fiscal space in collaboration with MTI’s Agencies through the increase export promotion drive to new emerging markets, improve Trade Financing facilities, improve monitoring of trade space and routes and effective coordination with domestic tax institutions with the National Revenue Authority (NRA).

He said the  Ministry’s strategic vision is to position the private sector as the engine of production and trade for economic growth and their mission is to contribute to leading economic development through policy formulation, private sector development, dialogue facilitation, industrial and public education.

 He said the mission of the ministry envisages a private sector-led economy that will ensure that the socio-economic needs of the citizens are met through private sector development, job and wealth creation.

 He said  their mandate is to develop policies and programmes to stimulate local and export trade, as well as to enhance private sector development, industrial and economic growth.

He said Sierra Leone currently has over 30 new factories  that are  exporting cooking oil and other products to neighbouring countries.

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