President Ernest Bai Koroma has disclosed that ‘our biggest challenge is prices of commodities especially the increase in rice and fuel’.
At a formal launching of the campaign for the local council elections yesterday at the All People’s Congress (APC) Headquarter in Freetown, President Koroma said that, people are saying that the increase of prices is as a result of weakness on the part of his government; which he debunked as a lie and a way to play politics.
He revealed that when we took over government the price of fuel was $60-$70 per barrel and now it is close to $100 per barrel, adding that, between February to April government has subsidised 10 billion Leones for this. Today he noted we are still proud to say that Sierra Leone has the cheapest fuel in the sub region.
On the rice issue, the Head of State said that, from November his government had spoken to importers to agree on the price of rice. Dr. Koroma disclosed that he had met with the Prime Minister of India and the government of Brazil to lift the ban on Sierra Leone.
That he said they have succeeded in doing and that they have purchased 40, 000 tons of rice from the India government from the 200,000 tons of rice they requested for. Pretty soon, Dr Koroma said the government of Brazil will lift the ban on Sierra Leone.
He pointed out that he will ensure that there will be enough rice in stock until November, stating that I am proud to say that Sierra Leone has the cheapest price for rice in the sub region.
The President accentuated that “we came into power when this country was at the level and we inherited a cash strapped budget, a wage bill of 25 billion Leones and not 500 billion Leones as was alleged by the past SLPP government”.
One big achievement we have achieved is by restoring credibility to the international committee which is very important.
The visit of Tony Blair and other prominent people he said was because of the credibility that he had restored.