Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – In a significant development for Sierra Leone’s small businesses, Fodeba Dabo, the Director General of the Sierra Leone Local Content Agency (SLLCA), announced yesterday that the 2024 Finance Act has extricated them from the tax burden. According to Dabo, this transformative Act is set to fuel the growth of small businesses by exempting them from the Goods and Service Tax (GST) if their estimated turnover falls below NLe500 thousand.
Commending President Bio and the Ministry of Finance leadership for prioritizing the welfare of the populace, Mr. Dabo expressed gratitude for the removal of GST obligations for businesses below the NLe500 thousand threshold, allowing them to operate freely.
“At Local Content, our goal is always clear. We want to make this economy a local one to ensure economic growth,” Dabo affirmed, emphasizing their commitment to transforming Sierra Leonean businesses and those led by Sierra Leoneans.
Dabo highlighted that the threshold had only been increased from NLe100 thousand to NLe500 thousand this year, marking the first adjustment since the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in 2009.
While acknowledging the 2024 Finance Act’s provisions related to the 5% tax on rice, cement, and iron rods, Dabo underscored other key sections designed to promote local content. He emphasized that these measures aim to fortify the supply chain and boost local industries, dispelling concerns of potential gaps.
Corporate Affairs Manager at the Sierra Leone Brewery Limited (SLBL), Foday Daboh, reassured the public that local producers are well-equipped to meet market demands, aligning with the government’s efforts to support local businesses. He announced SLBL’s plans to launch new products this week, expanding their market and exploring export opportunities to neighbouring countries such as Guinea and The Gambia.
Addressing concerns about pricing, Daboh informed the audience about the introduction of a recommended retail pricing system by the company. This initiative aims to prevent retailers from inflating the prices of SLBL’s products.
The press conference concluded with an interactive session, allowing for questions and answers, providing clarity on the significant impact the 2024 Finance Act is expected to have on the local business landscape. MJB/23/11/2023