The Minister of Finance, Jacob Jusu Government is poised to promoting local content policy by increasing local participation in all projects particularly those that are loans.
“Whilst we respect your rules and we will definitely comply with the regulations, one thing this government is trying to push and which we are yet to legislate is to make sure we increase local participation in all project particularly loans” he said during a symbolic signing of a loan agreement with India Exim Bank.
“If we are using foreign contractors as required by your regulations, government would like a joint venture with local firms as there are several advantages key amongst them is that part of these monies will be staying in Sierra Leone and there is also skills transfer to Sierra Leonean firms” he added.
Minister Saffa was appealing to the India High Commissioner during the signing ceremony as he referenced the model of development that India took when they were acquiring external loans, “you allow partnership with India companies and that is why today your country is growing as an emerging country” he told the High Commissioner.
He however, guided the High Commissioner to not send in India Firms that do not produce results. “We have some bad experiences with some India firms in this country, I caught up with some of your people at the Exim Bank in Malabo and I made it very clear to them about our disappointment and they promised us that the firms have been backlisted, I hope that is true” Minister Saffa said.
“We do not want to encourage those types of companies, we are still paying monies they took for tractors for Kailahun and water supply, we are still paying those loans and their performance was not good for this country. Whilst we respect the rules that we have to get India firms please get us the best India firms so that we know these firms come and do what they are supposed to do. Let’s get the best that can transfer skills to our own people through a joint venture arrangement for the benefit of the project” he appealed.
Govt. plans to improve joint ventures with loan projects