Trade and Industry Minister Usu Boie addresses Local Content Policy Stakeholders Consultative Meeting in Lunsar

TRANSCRIBED BY MAHMOUD TIM KARGBO :

I Am happy to be here to start this project. First of all let me make this cleanly clear that we are blessed to get a President that cares for his people. As you all know the Local Content Policy has being passed by Government over a year now. Honestly many people misconstrued it, hence the idea to make a sensitization tour. Since 1933 we used to get companies in our country but when those companies folded up development came to halt. We hate to see a repetition of the sort. Local Content Policy is here to make sure that we never get back to that odd part of history.

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As Government, we shall continue to push other partners to make sure that we develop the talent of our locals with modern skills that will bring development to individuals and our various communities. Please let us persuade our youth and encourage them to be empowered with valuable skills so that when this companies fold up they can still stand on their own feet.

Today, 30% of the vehicles currently used by companies in this Lunsar area are vehicles that are own by locals. And this is just a start as time goes on it will increase up to 100%.

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Please capitalize on this advantage as this is the only way we can positively correct the odd days of Delco. We have now opened a Technical Vocational Institute here and we shall continue like that all over the country. You need not to be at each others throat with company owners. You need to realize that they are here to do business and make profit, though Government will never allow them to exploit the locals simply because they want to make huge profit at the expense of the locals.
Lets all realize that no one will develop Sierra Leone for us, we will develop it ourselves. In attaining this we need to be serious minded, positive in thinking, committed, straight forwarded and honest with ourselves. We must understand that our minerals will one day finish. The world has changed and our and we must position ourselves well to be Sierra Leoneans that can improve ourselves and our country.

The Ministry has to engage with the locals and the locals in turn must engage with the companies to inclusively meet our target. We have to be serious to push our country ahead. It is imperative to note that the Agenda for Prosperity will never meet you in your house and change your life. You must push positively to attain it and compliment the effort of The Government. Government will provide the right environment and opportunities for the governs to make good use of the positive provisions.
The meeting was chaired by the Senior District Officer of Portoloko District Mr. Mohamed S. Kargbo. He described the meeting as an opportunity for people in the District to know their rights and responsibilities in the Local Content Policy. He urged the locals in Lunsar to positively brace up to to be in a better position to gain the advantages of the policy.

OPENING REMARKS:

Paramount Chief Marampa Chiefdom, Bai Kobolo Queen 11

Registered thanks and appreciation to all the guests specifically to The Hon.Minister of Trade and Industry. For taking the sound initiative to move and meet his people in the proven ices to get consultative talks on the Policy. “Most Ministers will decide to sit in Freetown and reason for us, instead of reasoning together with us. I must emphasize here that for the very first time in my life I see a Cabinet Minister moving round the county just to see a specific Policy popularize. This is honestly incredible in modern days Sierra Leone.

This occasion is the game opener to install respect for our locals and the companies operating in Sierra Leone. This will lead Sierra Leone to a higher height. This is a genuine manifestation of love and empathy on the part of the Government to promote positive change and sustainable growth”.

Chairperson of Port Loko District Council:

Please let the Government learn how to share out newly developed Policies and Laws in the provincial areas in order for the message to reach the common people well. We have people that can effectively interpret them to the locals. Let’s all of us realize and recognize that the Councils are the institutions set up in Parliament to thrive development in the Districts.

Hon. Isata Kabia:

Most of the difficulties arise because the locals are always complaining that the Local Content Policy is not working in Marampa and Maforki Chiefdoms.

We want to see inclusive growth whereby both the Government and its people develop tangibly. This means we need to get the requisite education to meet to this challenge. Private sector should support public education to enhance the quality of the locals to the standards of the companies.

Local content is a specific law which is yet to change the situation in the ground. It is not new, it’s just enforcing what has being stated in the books for long. Please let my people note that local content will never be implemented via force. We need to get the required skills to meet to the available jobs of the companies.

We lost serious benefit in the past five years, please we cannot tolerate such odd scenario in the coming years. Needs create supply. And note that we need no specialization to supply our local goods to London Mining.

MOHAMED DOLLAR KAMARA Chairperson Landowners Committee Marforki Chiefdom.
Information is not flowing. He has special praises for Dawnus for perfectly observing their Cooperate Social Responsibility.
Apart from Dawnus all other sub contractors plus the parent company are not fair to the locals. He ask for other companies to copy the good work of Dawnus.

ATTENDEES :
Ministry of Trade and Industry and Team, Hon. Member of Parliament Constituency 50, (Hon. Isata Kabia) Councillors, Youth, Local Unit Commander, Land owners, School Principles, Traders, Cape Lambert, African Minerals and London Mining Companies, Press and Civil Society Organisations.

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