Sierra Leone Needs Prayers

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-RODNEY MICHAEL

Over the last two weeks our social forums have been inundated with unwarranted and unhealthy recordings and postings so unlike what we are as a people.

Sierra Leoneans are loving and humane, and we share in our joy and sadness, ever proud of whatever we achieve as a Nation or as individuals.

We have been boastful of our democracy since 1995, and delighted that so many Presidential, Parliamentary and local council elections in the last 25 years have been conducted without much violence or confrontation; we have protected our peace and stability better than most in the sub region.

However, with such hate and rudeness portrayed in the last two weeks, with recordings, social forums reactions and postings, and worse of all the rumor mongering, there is need to Pray for Our President and the People of this country.

Oh Lord God, the Lord of Mercy and the Lord of Healing, the forgiving God, we offer to you our President, our people and our country and ask that you send your Holy Spirit to save us all, so we will always be one people, full of love and blessed with peace and stability, and to keep in line with our National Motto “Unity, Freedom and Justice.”

Let us all dedicate this weekend to Praying for our Nation; we need the Prayers and God’s Mercy!

 Make Importation/Exportation Easier & Less expensive

-RODNEY MICHAEL

A few days ago, I wrote in my daily commentary about the wonders NATIONAL REVENUE AUTHORITY (NRA) has performed in revenue generation over the first 4 months of 2020, even surpassing the same period in 2019 despite the Covid-19 debacle.

However, my commendation of the NRA ignited a lot of responses sent to my Private Box and some were very vocal. One reader asked “revenue generation is great but at what cost and to the detriment of which group?”

I exchanged with most of those who reacted and discovered many are not so happy about importation/exportation charges and difficulties. The various costs and bottle necks seem to be a discouraging factor.

Others complained about increased taxes and enforced compliance while some were bold enough to cite some other unpleasant situations, which I would prefer not to elaborate on in this piece.

The concern on importation/exportation though appears genuine and further research justifies the complaints. Importation/exportation is a hazard as it is and costs a lot more compared to other neighboring or Ecowas Countries.

High importation duties and the various charges makes it very expensive and explains why standard of living is so high.

In as much as we need revenue generation on the high, we also need to understand that the more difficult and the high cost of duty will discourage many from importing or exporting and will also increase cost of imported goods.

The National Revenue Authority in all fairness is only implementing the duties and charges as approved by Parliament in the Finance Act.

It is for the Ministry of Finance to consult all key players like the NRA, IMPORTERS ASSOCIATION, Sierra Leone Ports Authority  and all other partners on how importation and exportation can be transformed to an easier process and areas where the duties and charges should or could be reduced to the benefit of the people and to entice increased importation and exportation.

As a cautionary advice, it is better to entice importation and exportation through our Ports rather than encourage importation/exportation through neighboring countries. We will end up losing a fortune in lost revenue. This is also true and maybe more so as far as exportation is concerned for our minerals, particularly Gold and Diamond.

 A Word for the wise should suffice!

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