Over 120 monitors have been capacitated with skills in the areas of trade and trade related issues, interpersonal relationship with the business community, reliable trade data collection, report writing, understanding the Civil Service Code/ Rules and Regulations and the mode or line of communication.
This document provides general guidelines for inspection and monitoring the quality, quantity and price of goods in business facilities, warehouses and factories in Sierra Leone. The under mentioned categories at this stage will be closely monitored and reports sent to the Ministry by the Monitors.
Rice stores and the prices, building materials and prices, local markets and local food stuffs prices, essential commodities conditions and prices, petroleum product availability and retail outlet, border crossing points, alcoholic beverages industries, non-alcoholic beverages industries, water processing companies and industries, local wharfs and the jetties, scrap metal industries, Queen Elizabeth II Quay, timber exporting companies and petroleum depot and fishing industries. Launching the Manual, MTI Deputy Minister Abraham Sesay said that they have empowered the monitors for the common good as trade is the backbone of the economy and with effective monitoring they will be able to ensure that trade has not been adulterated.
The monitors he said will be working closely with the people that make the economy move and warned them against misusing or abusing their authority and their responsibility should be handled for the common good and not selfish gains. He stressed that the country have signed up to a number of protocols within MRU, ECOWAS and AU, whilst referencing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement which will start at the end of May and that he says puts a lot of responsibility on the ministry and the trade monitors. “We are no longer going to be trading within Sierra Leone alone but with the entire African community and their performance should be of quality throughout. For us to be competitive, we should bear in mind that as much as we are pushing as a nation there are other nations pushing faster and harder than we are, it is going to be a trade race and we should not be left behind as a nation, that is why we need to sharpen our competitive edge in Sierra Leone” he said. He added that whenever monitors come from outside into our markets they should find out that the nation is progressing.
“Monitors are going to be coming in to inspect without our knowing, what we say to them as a ministry should not be in contravention of what they find in the market. So it is necessary that you feel the weight of responsibility and perform at optimum” he advised. Objectives of the Inspection Manual is to ensure compliance with conformity assessment to National and International Standards, to eliminate/minimize the trade in substandard and counterfeit products; to provide assurance that food is safe for human consumption; to ensure that consumers have a clear and easy to understand information on price, quantity, quality and standard of products they consume; to educate the business community on handling and storage of products in order to maintain quality; and to help protect the health and safety of the population against the consumption of substandard/shoddy products. Highlight of the launch included questions and answers and responses provided by Mickail Turay, Acting Director Domestic and Commerce Industry, Tamba Kamanda, SLSB Manager Product Certification and MTI Permanent Secretary.