Even though the inflation rate in Sierra Leone is on a downward trend, more work needs to be done by both the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Sierra Leone in order to get it right.
This was disclosed by the Bank Governor of Sierra Leone, Prof. Kaifala Kallon during a press conference that was organized by Statistics Sierra Leone of the technical presentation of their March 2021 Consumer Price Index (CPI).
He stated that there are some basics principles which they must follow in order to bring the inflation rate down to a single digit.
He pointed out that the praises for the recent drop in the inflation rate should go to President Bio for having a foresight of the nation.
According to the Governor, by creating an environment of risk high society, some prefers low level of inflation against a high level of inflation because of its impact to investors.
“The average Sierra Leonean has only labour, they don’t want capital. People whose incomes are fix such as the poor and average worker, suffer from inflation,” he said.
He disclosed that non-food inflation rate is lower than the food inflation rate and expressed optimism of bringing the digit as low as 5%.
In his presentation Sierra Leone’s Statistician General, Prof. Osman Sankoh, said that the COR and the CUP is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by largely urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services.
He said they are using the Modified formular to compute indices according to the Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) with 12 functions.
He spoke about their consistent partnership with ECOWAS, IMF and World Bank and the technical support they are getting from them as well.
According to Prof. Sankoh they collected prices from 436 items and that the data they collected was identified in 2008 noting that it takes a whole process for them to update any data.
He said they are trying to update the 2008 standard using the 2018 survey.
“All prices collected are the prevailing retail market prices. 18 markets were selected within three times in a week with 64 items. Our data should speak for themselves that is what we do,” he confirmed.
Assistant Director at the Ministry of Finance, Lansana Fofana, said the single digit inflation has been issues in the country.
He expressed joy for the downward trend and described it as a very good news for the country.
“The challenge in moving forward is to maintain the current stands because Sierra Leone economic can get shock,” he cautioned.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade, A.S. Sheku called for a system to be in place that will create a people centered policy despite any change of government.
He thanked them for justifying what they have been doing in promoting small scale businesses in the country.
The Development Secretary in the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, Peter Parker stated that if they want to plan as a ministry, they need credible data.
“We stand behind you and we will give you the support. This is the reason we want the census. For a very long time we have double digits but today we are talking about single digit inflation rate,” he said.