Since the President Bio led SLPP government came to power almost 3 months ago there has been a hue and cry from the public over the alarming rate of inflation affecting the prices of basic commodities in the market and the rapid devaluation of the Leones against the US dollar and other foreign currencies.
Some Economists have noted that even before the SLPP government took over, the issue of inflation and high exchange rate of dollar has been difficult to contain, but that the advent of the new administration has further exacerbated the situation.
The frightening rate of inflation in the country nowadays, according to the Economists has been attributed to the multiple executive orders issued by President Bio relating to tax on importation and others, which they say has had an adverse effect of the prices of goods in the market.
In as much as they claimed to have appreciated President Bio’s tax and other financial reformations drive, they (Economists) argued that he has failed to take into cognizance the effect such would have on the importation of essential commodities like rice and other basic food stuffs.
Since this new government came in; importers have been complaining about the high and erratic change rate on importation tariffs, which they described as an over taxation burden.
This, they said has caused them to be paying more taxes to clear their goods at the port and as such, would have no option but in turn increase prices in the market.
Equally so, traders have been complaining about the rapid increase in prices of imported goods, which they say is having a knock-on-effect on their businesses and turnover.
Customers who have been the hardest hit by the epileptic and alarming spate of inflation over the past months have been bitterly complaining about the prices of food stuffs; particularly rice the country’s staple food, which they say have caused many breadwinners to be unable to provide even 2 square meals a day for their families.
Customers also complained that the prices of rice and other commodities including home grown pepper and locally produced garie have all been drastically increased while the government turned a blind eye to it.
On the issue of the dollar exchange rate, ordinary citizens including business people said they have been appalled by such ugly financial development and urged the SLPP government to immediately tackle the issue head on.
Civil society organizations who have been closely following the challenges of inflation and dollar exchange rate have expressed grave concern over the alarming rate of which ‘bread and butter’ issue that is critical in the lives of ordinary Sierra Leoneans has been handled by this government.
It is against this backdrop that they are urging the SLPP government, which campaigned on the platform of implementing the New Direction that will transform the lives of ordinary citizens to keep to their campaign promises.