Ministry Of Trade Handicapped

 

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Peter Bayuku Conteh has disclosed that he inherited a disorganized, uncompetitive and difficult Ministry without proper system in place and faced with many challenges in the areas of training and capacity building.

The Minister further disclosed that some of the trade laws are archaic if not obsolete as they were enacted way back in 1977 and 1996. These laws, he said, have not been reviewed over the years, adding that other laws that suppose to be used are yet to be enacted.

Another major challenge, he said, the Ministry grappling with, is the kind of tax regime inherited which, he said, is very confusing and conflicting and restrains investors to do business in Sierra Leone. He also spoke of the difficulties that go with the clearing of goods at the Queen Elizabeth Quay which is still time consuming and costly. Another challenge faced, the Minister is the lack of logistics support as there are no enough vehicles available to effectively and efficiently do their work.

The Minister however disclosed that plans are underway to train their staff and to transform the trading sector. The ministry, he furthered will draft new laws and also review old ones in order to be in conformity with international standard and best practice. The Ministry, he added, will engage with the Ministry of Transport to simplify the process of clearing of goods at the Quay within 72 hours.

Mr. Conteh opined that there are plans for the government to come up with a concept for each district to have a factory.