Trade Ministry Set To Roll Out National Micro Credit Scheme To Support Small Businesses

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By Finda Judith Ngaujah:
Strategic Communications Unit,
Ministry of Information and Communications

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Hinga Sandy, has said on Thursday 3rd September 2020, during the weekly press briefing in the conference room of the Ministry of Information and Communications that his Ministry has embarked on various institutional reforms for effective service delivery.

He said that the new structures will speak to the needs of the country as the Ministry positions itself to harness opportunities across the globe in order to grow the country’s economy.

According to him, one of the biggest projects the Ministry is working on along with the Ministry of Finance is the implementation of a National Micro Credit Scheme that will provide funds for small businesses.

He furthered that the Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Sierra Leone has been able to secure essential commodities by offering a five hundred billion Leones credit facility to importers which is why, according to him, despite the country going through difficult time due to the Corona pandemic prices remain stable, rice available for up to the end of the year and more importation expected to meet the needs of 2021.

He added that there is enough petroleum products in the country, saying they have opened up the market by introducing a new player in the petroleum sector who will be bringing in petroleum products thereby creating jobs and generating revenue for the country.

He informed that Sierra Leone has joined two huge marketing opportunities – the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme that allows companies within West Africa to trade with businesses in the sub-region and the Continental Free Trade Agreement that has already been ratified.

He disclosed that they have registered thirty one companies that are producing in Sierra Leone and exporting to other countries.

A number of industry policies, the Minister went on, are currently under review, noting that the ongoing reforms will attract more investments in the country.

Dr Sandy assured that the Koindu Market which links Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea will be revitalized.