With the clock fast ticking towards the first 100 days of President Bio in office, citizens have expressed concern over the new government’s inability to address issues like the high cost of living in the country resulting to widespread hardship.
Facts are that Friday 13th July will mark the first 100 days in office of President Bio since he won the presidential run-off election and subsequently sworn in as President of Sierra Leone on April 5th 2018.
It could be recalled that President Bio with his New Direction manifesto campaigned on the platform of making the lives of Sierra Leoneans better by ensuring that the perennial challenges of bread and butter issues are addressed.
It is against this backdrop that citizens have charged that under the New Direction, in terms of their livelihoods; nothing much has changed and appears that the situation is even getting worse under President Bio’s watchful eye.
Among the issues people are grumbling about is the rapid increase in the prices of food stuffs in the market, especially items like rice, the country’s staple food, pepper and gari among others.
Members of the public, especially women who visits the market on a daily basis, said they are stunned at the alarming rate at which the prices of food stuffs are soaring and income not reflective to meet daily basic demands.
They (women) who bear the brunt of such frightening economic situation have expressed shock and dismay over the government inability to control even the prices of locally produced food stuffs that has no direct bearing to foreign exchange rate.
The majority of the suffering masses say they are not to even understanding as to why the prices of things like gari, palm oil, groundnut and pepper have been astronomically increased when the cost of one of the major determinant of food transportation, fuel has not changed.
They said the daily increase in the prices food and other commodities has caused widespread suffering among the populace, who said they cares more about bread and butter issues than the current hullaballoo over a transitional report, which has led to the opening up of a Pandora’s box between the SLPP and APC.
Another issue about the economy people said they are unsatisfied with during the first 100 days of President Bio’s government is the foreign exchange rate, which they say is causing a worrisome state of inflation in the country.
Members of the public therefore noted with concern that the steady devaluation of the Leone against other foreign currencies has also led to the increase in the prices of all imported goods, not excluding rice and other food stuffs.
In all this, the suffering populace has therefore described the present state of the economy as nothing home to write about as they complained about struggling to provide food for their families.
Meanwhile, the Institute of Governance Reform (IGR) while launching the Bio Meter last week rated the government as having done well in 9 out of 14 sectors rated, representing 64% success in the areas of the economy, education, health and sanitation and the fight against corruption.