The President of the Chamber of Commerce, Mr Aki Macauley has told Awoko that coupled with other factors for the high prices of commodities in the country, hoarding of goods by business men has been a pivotal factor for the rise in prices.
“We are talking about change of attitude and this is where this attitudinal change comes in – we want to alleviate the sufferings of others so if you have the goods then sell them why keep it for the price increase tomorrow.” Aki Macauley lashed out.
He said that the rise of prices in the country is a concern to the chamber.
The Chamber President urged all its members to stop hoarding goods and sell them as this will help lower the inflation rate.
Mr Aki Macauley also suggested that government has a role to play for the inflation rate to drop.
He suggested that if they lower the tax on essential goods including rice, this will also help drastically.
As a Chamber, “we know that the government has to balance its budget and would not depend on a bid all the time and unfortunately as of now the nation is not able to get the quantum of income they should get from the natural resources of the country, so the emphasis now is on duty that is why things are so expensive.”
“We have also moved away from subsidies, we are operating on a free market economy, we have to depend on demand and supply for what we pay, we also know that it is difficult for government to subsidize rice and fuel” Macauley said. The Chamber President said that People in Sierra Leone are generally poor and cannot afford the basics of life and if things begin to increase then it makes a bad situation worse and any government would want to address the causes of the rise in prices.
He however stated that President Ernest Koroma has been moving in the right direction in addressing the high cost of living coupled with the fact that the government is only six months in power “it takes time to settle down so we should make provision for the time and then see what happens before we begin to say these people have not done their homework.” By Mohamed Fofanah