President Bio commissions $15 million fish processing plant

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 20 December 2020:

Last Friday, President Dr Julius Maada Bio commissioned the country’s first fish processing plant at the Sierra Fishing Company in the east of the capital Freetown. Speaking at the event, the president said the plant will add value to fish produced in the country.

“We assert in our New Direction manifesto and in the Medium-Term National Development Plan that fisheries as a sub-sector contributes 12 percent of GDP, employs over 500,000 people, and is the staple of economic activity right along the coastline and in the interior of Sierra Leone.

“In line with our bid to achieve food security, fish remains the primary source of protein for most Sierra Leoneans. Besides, we have emphasised, as a Government, that there is great potential to increase earnings from the sector,” he said.

The President said he has been informed that the facility would sort, blast freeze, and package fish for the local market and for exporting, adding that he is also assured that all environmental, health and safety assessments have been conducted and certified.

“I am also informed that there will be a rigorous monitoring regime in place for the type of fish, and the quality and safety of the packaged fish for market. But to my mind, we can also go beyond just scooping fish from the ocean, carrying and sorting, and freezing and packaging just whole fish. There is a possibility of a whole value-addition economy that will add more value to our fish products and create even more jobs. This will also reduce fish waste and catch losses,” he concluded.

Managing Director of the Sierra Fishing Company, Bassim Mohamed, thanked the President for providing leadership. He said that the project started in 2009 but couldn’t be completed because of what he described as bad leadership.

Bassim further stated that the $15 million project is funded by the European Union, saying the resumption and completion of the project would create 1,000 jobs for skilled and unskilled citizens of the country, thereby reducing poverty and unemployment in the country.

“I want to thank President Julius Maada Bio for his continued engagement with the European Union and other international partners for the resumption and completion of this project,” he noted.

Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Honourable Emma Kowa-Jalloh, said it is a pleasure to witness the commissioning of the plant, which she hoped would lead to wealth creation and economic diversification.

“The industry and artisanal fishermen unions will now have an opportunity to work together for the mutual benefit of the two associations and for better prices for their products,” she said, adding that finally Sierra Leone would be among countries listed for export to the international markets and consumers would be assured of the safety of the products.

10 Comments

  1. Levi Fofana says —“ I like polite debates/discussions but one thing I have no time for is responding in-kind to uncouth and unsavoury remarks. If you are so close-minded to think that President Bio has not accomplished anything since he was democratically elected two years ago, then let’s just leave it at that…. If on the contrary, your profound hatred of President Bio cannot allow you to utilize whatever level of education you possess to appreciate the fact that the president’s initiatives are gradually transforming Sierra Leone, then so be it.” Young4na says — “For almost 2 decades, he aimed around jobless, doing absolutely nothing to elevate our nation but indoctrinate ilk like you Levi, to give him a second chance in looting our resources.”

    Honorable ART, with all due respect and fairness, let’s put the above 2 statements into a litmus test, and evaluate keys words here: INDOCTRINATE, UNCOUTH, UNSAVORY, CLOSED-MINDED, etc, now who is really casting aspersion or using derogatory statement towards another? I hear you loud and clear about toning it down, however, what is good for the goose might as well be good for the gander.

    Now back to you Levi, obviously you are not the first neither will be the last of those foot soldiers of POAPA who in numerous occasions have venture into this platform with the pretence of being the most patriotic, hence must defend the current regime illicit action against our poor citizens, while labelling anyone who calls out the many ills of this regime as ‘HATERS’ of the president. Frankly, i was expecting you to list the numerous good deeds, or initiatives that have really transformed our nation under your so called demi-god. Instead you go about lamenting on frivolous anecdotal about your so called party affiliations. Just remember, here we challenge people to provide facts, just saying things for the sake of saying them will never fly!!

  2. The achievements of the new direction government within less than 3 years can only be described as UNBELIEVABLE based on the fact that it took the destructive APC party 11 bad years to reduce our nation to Austerity. The last time I can recollect when the real disaster in our fishing industry started was under the leadership of the “Godfather of the thieving APC party” late President Stevens who sold our fishing industry to late Jamil Sahid Mohamed for almost nothing because he was his major business partner who also bought the NDMC diamond company. Unfortunately, when late President Momoh’s government became bankrupt, they decided to grab everything from Jamil by accusing him of orchestrating a coup which caused him to flee to Great Britain for his life.

    This is welcome news for our citizens that the new direction government and the European Union are once again focused on the fishing industry. Let us continue to pray for the continued development of Mama Salone. My only advice for some of our destructive APC propagandists is, Guinean and Liberian citizenship is still an option if they hate Sierra Leone that much, especially Guinea because we both have similar last names as Kamara, Fofana, Jalloh, Bah and Conteh to name but few. Opposition is quite different from hatred.

    • No thanks but no thanks Mr Fallay about your suggestion we take up citizenship in Guinea. Another failed state. I know what is driving your thinking. However, our country has moved away from such impulses, if you disagree with me, just disappear. May be you are better off making such suggestion to our vice president Juldeh Jalloh or Chernor Bah, the head of the APC in parliament.

      If I were to take up your offer, I would be spoilt for choice both in the west African sub-region all the way to Cameroon, Mali, Bokina Faso, Senegal, Nigeria, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, Niger, Guinea, Liberia, Ivory coast, Egypt, South Sudan, Gambia, majority of these countries listed have large Fulani population and as their head of state. For me there is no place like SIERRA LEONE. We have the right to criticise this failing Bio government, but we don’t have the right to hate our elected leader. We need to stop this tribalism in Sierra Leone or our country will never develop.

  3. Levi Fofana says — “Truth is, President Bio may have made some mistakes but the man has also done a lot of good things for Salone.”
    Hahaha, hey Levi, could you please elaborate what you meant by the president has done ‘a lot of good things for Salone’ which in your alternate universe you claim to be the ‘truth’? I am really curious to know what exactly our impoverished NATION has benefitted from the goodwill of your so called demi-god. Last time I check, it’s actually Bio and henchmen that have immensely benefited and pillaged our poor nation.

    Upon his first stint in power during the NPRC junta regime, he walked away with millions of dollars from our nation’s coffers. After spending his loot in foreign nations, first the United States and later Ghana, he came back home broke vying for another opportunity to loot again. For almost 2 decades, he aimed around jobless, doing absolutely nothing to elevate our nation but indoctrinate ilk like you Levi, to give him a second chance in looting our resources. Fortunately for him, he succeeded; and we are now seeing the results.

    For 2 consecutive years since he laid his hands into our nation’s coffer, record colossal amount of monies are unaccounted for. In 2018, over 140 billion missing, now 178 billion missing. So please tell this glorious intellectual forum exactly what ‘a lot of good things he has done for Salone’!!

    • Young4NA,

      I am long-time member of this forum. The editor can verify that. But sometimes I take long breaks due to my busy schedule. I like polite debates/discussions but one thing I have no time for is responding in-kind to uncouth and unsavoury remarks. If you are so close-minded to think that President Bio has not accomplished anything since he was democratically elected two years ago, then let’s just leave it at that. But one thing that is evident is that no amount of rudeness or insolence will be enough to produce a regime change in Sierra Leone. I support individuals and actors in the political process and not political parties. I have never been a member of a political party in Sierra Leone as I do not want to be circumscribed by the dictates or dogmas of party politics.

      In the last general elections, I supported Dr. Kandeh Yumkella without joining the NGC. When Bio won, I closely monitored his leadership abilities and style of governance and have to come to believe that he means well for his country. This will not push me into joining the SLPP. I care more for Sierra Leone than I would for any political party. If on the contrary, your profound hatred of President Bio cannot allow you to utilize whatever level of education you possess to appreciate the fact that the president’s initiatives are gradually transforming Sierra Leone, then so be it. But I am glad and appreciative of the editor of this paper for reporting the news with maximum objectivity.

    • Young4na you said in reply to Levi – “For almost 2 decades, he aimed around jobless, doing absolutely nothing to elevate our nation but indoctrinate ilk like you Levi, to give him a second chance in looting our resources.” Please take it easy. You have a right to your opinion and to question other commentators but not the right to cast aspersions. Please lets be polite. Thank you.

  4. I really hope that people can be free to express their opinions without being subjected to unwarranted virulent attacks. No government in the world is perfect. Governing is an unfolding process and it behooves that if the negatives of a government are aired then the positives should also be given the light of day. This is exactly what the Sierra Leone Telegraph does – balanced reporting. Cheers Mr. Editor.

    Unfortunately, there are folks that do not want to hear anything positive about Sierra Leone or President Bio. They freak out when a positive article on Salone appears in the Sierra Leone Telegraph. Too bad. Those of us in the middle of the political divide would want to hear not just the bad but also the good. Truth is, President Bio may have made some mistakes but the man has also done a lot of good things for Salone.

  5. Mr Dauda, not for the first time you are telling us Sierra Leoneans, black is white and white is black. I respect your opinion, maybe you are a member of this failing Bio government. I only wish you could be on the side of the suffering masses. Stop defending the indefensible. MY fellow countryman, let us stick with the facts. Because that is the only way we will get our country where we all want it to be. A self sufficient Sierra Leone for everyone one. In your opinion piece, when we look at the state of our country, we are either blind to everything that is going on, or maybe there is an other Sierra Leone that exists in a different planet that remains yet to be discovered. And in that Sierra Leone that exist, you want us to believe is a land of honey and plenty.

    No tribalism, no regionalism, no APC and SLPP. And the head of state is no other than the trouble shooter Bio himself. At the moment my Sierra Leone that borders Liberia and Guinea Republic, under the grip of Bio’s dictatorship, is listed as one of the least developed countries in the world. We rely on international financial assistance, because we cannot manage our God given resources. Life expectancy for both men, and women is below sixty years. Infant mortality rate is one of the highest in the west African region. Where pregnant women die trying to give birth is the norm not the exception. No electricity, no clean water, and the majority of children go to bed hungry. Our youth unemployment is at an all time high. We import our staple food rice because we can’t grow it ourselves. Our roads are the worst in the region. And we are denied all this development because a handful of our fellow Sierra Leoneans hold the view, it is their God given right to steal from the state, and plunder our natural resources for themselves and their families.

  6. Hey Mr. Dauda, I am not sure which part of the globe you currently reside in or if you happen to have any relatives living in Sierra Leone. Nevertheless, I implore you to visit Sierra Leone soon as time permits or call back home, talk to your relatives about living conditions in the country, come back and provide details to us about any glorious or major physical development being observed in the nation.

    I know being a fanatic POAPA supporter with constant exposure to propagandist messages within loyalists platforms makes some of you exist on an alternate universe, but I promise you, a visit to the motherland will snap you back to reality. I just came back from there, spent 7 weeks and travelled a lot in the provinces, believe you me, there is nothing much to write home about.

  7. Developments like this are taking place in the country and yet the critics don’t have an eye for it. Why are they only interested in promoting negative news?

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