Edmund Abu: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 20 February 2019:
The Native Consortium & Research Center (NCRC) has noted the grave effect of the scarcity of bread to consumers in Freetown. We have observed that bread bakers and their unions are calling for strike action over the hike in the price of flour.
This has affected Sierra Leoneans who regard bread as their staple food. We call on the ministry of finance to speedily solve this issue with minimum delay.
The NCRC participated in the recent 2019 Budget discussion, and we noted the fiscal move made by the finance minister to slash tariff on flour (Photo: Edmund Abu). But we expected this tariff cut to have reflected on the price of a loaf of bread or the size of bread. But this has not been the case.
Whilst we appreciate the decision of the government to reduce tax, what we want now is for the government to investigate this price hike, by bringing representatives of the bakers, flour importers and millers to the negotiating table to find a way out of the crisis.
The NCRC want to urge the bakers to be patient and put their case before the government.
The NCRC also believe that since the bakers have spoken, they must now seat with the government to path-find solutions.
As a Consumer protection and economic justice institution, the NCRC does not believe that poor consumers should suffer over the hike in flour price; nor should the bread scarcity issue be trivialised.
Above all, the NCRC calls on government to treat this issue with the utmost seriousness it deserves.
About the author
Edmond Abu Jnr is the Executive Director of the Native Consortium & Research Center (NCRC).