FLOUR MILLS BEGINS OPERATIONS

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It was a pleasant reading on social forums about the re-opening of the flour mill factory in cline town, 11 years after it was shut down.

Supporters of the company and residents around the area where the company is situated wasted no time to associate the good news with the Government emphasising that the President had bailed the company out.

Whatever the story, however it all happened, this is excellent news for the Government and the people of Sierra Leone. We must all celebrate it.

The benefits are numerous, job creation, taxes, less demand on foreign currency for importation, reduced cost of flour and consequently reduced cost of bread and other products, payment for social services, etc. It should help ease the hardship on the struggling majority.

The more factories we open the more jobs we create the less demand for foreign currency and the bigger the contribution to the national economy. This is the way to development in the medium and long term and the re-opening of the flour mill is just good music to ears of every well meaning Sierra Leonean.

There are other major investments into new factories, with The Shallops and their partners investing to manufacture products from local palm oil like soap and other commodities.

Mackie is building a cement factory also and I am aware of plans to open 3 more factories in the country to produce high demand goods locally.

With all of these factories due to complete within the next year, the potential job opportunities for the low and middle class working group will increase.

As an aside, the area the Government needs to focus on more than any other area is agriculture. There needs to be a re-examination of our strategy to re-direct our focus to higher and better investment domestically, and encouragement of Sierra Leoneans to invest in Agriculture.

There should be an agriculture bank or funding policy on low interest rate to enable private individuals or businesses, especially those owned by Sierra Leoneans, to invest in Agriculture, and for production to expand so we could be self sufficient and less dependent on imported rice and other products.

This Government I have always said has a very good fiscal policy for the long term, even if their short term policy was not ideal for the majority of the people, and may have actually caused more hardship. There is hope for the medium and long term and the signs are showing.

I am therefore not surprised that 2 years on, we receive these good news. Sierra Leone has the potential to grow and develop and to be self sustainable in the next 5 years, as long as the will and determination is there.

We are blessed with natural resources, vast land for agriculture, and a hard working, intelligent and content people easy to appease. The more the good news the happier the people.

 If we unite as a Nation, we can make Sierra Leone the beauty it once was!

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