The official launching of the Indigenous Import Traders’ Association (I.I.T.A.) has taken place at the “How for do” guesthouse in Kenema.
In his welcome address the chairman of the occasion, D.B.Mosia, thanked all for leaving their busy schedules to make the occasion a success, and described the day as a milestone in Kenema’s history.
He called on the traders to remain as a unified force in the development of their country.
Giving an overview of the association I.I.T.A’s chairman, Thomas Sawyer, said “traders have seen the need to unite themselves so that they can develop not only their businesses but the nation”.
He noted that traders in other countries were regarded as major contributors to economic development, adding that “the I.I.T.A. will serve as auxiliary to the Kenema City Council in the development of that city”.
Mr Augustine Sannoh of the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) said the formation of I.I.T.A. was a welcome idea, but however added that traders should pay their taxes.
The Inspector of Trade in Kenema, Kandeh Kanu, noted that “the business community is the most powerful institution as “it helps the economy of every state”.
He disclosed that, “the [Non Citizens’] Trade Act” stated that foreigners should not be involved in retail businesses but that this was not happening because indigenous traders were proving to be ineffective.
The provincial secretary East, Albert Bockarie who gave the keynote address, expressed happiness over the formation of the association.
He assured members that the authorities were always ready to do their best to assist the association, noting that business people were the ones who laid the foundations for any government.
Councilor Brima Bawoh of the Kenema City Council and also chairman of the Kenema District Traders’ Association, also made a contribution.