Sierra Leone To Boost Small Businesses With Micro Credits
In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic in the countries of the world, the Ministry of Trade n Industry of Sierra Leone has planned a sustained micro-credit scheme for small businesses in the country.
This was disclosed recently by Dr. Hinga Sandy, the minister in charge of the ministry, noting that the ministry has embarked and still embarking on various institutional reforms for effective service delivery.
Sandy noted that the new order would attend to the needs of the populace.
He thus averred that one of the biggest projects his ministry was working on along with the Ministry of Finance was the implementation of a National Micro Credit Scheme that would provide funds for small businesses.
Sandy said his ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Sierra Leone, had been able to secure essential consumer commodities to meet the needs of the people of Sierra Leone, by providing Five Hundred Billion Leones credit facility to importers.
According to Sandy, as a result of this credit facility, and despite the country going through a difficult times due to the coronavirus pandemic, prices of essential consumer items remained stable.
Rice, he said, is available in the country for up to the end of this year, and that more was expected to be imported for 2021.
The minister added that there were enough petroleum products in the country and that the government had opened up the market by introducing a new player in the petroleum sector who will also be bringing in petroleum products.
He reported that Sierra Leone has joined two large market opportunities – the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme that allows companies within West Africa to trade with businesses in the sub-region, and the Continental Free Trade Agreement that has already been ratified.
Sandy said that his ministry has registered thirty-one companies that are producing goods in Sierra Leone for exporting to other countries.
Several industry promotion policies are currently under review, Sandy said, whilst noting that the ongoing reforms will attract more investments into Sierra Leone.