The Head of Research at the Bank of Sierra Leone Mohamed Mansaray has said that the country is faced with a looming rise in inflation as a result of shocks in food and mineral prices in the market.
He made this statement yesterday during the launching of the Economic Association at the British Council auditorium in Freetown.
Mohamed Mansaray said the mining sector is not capable of providing jobs for many and that mining royalties can also not be relied upon for economic growth.
He cautioned that mining cannot help develop any country but suggested that agriculture is one of the major investment that create better job opportunities for a better livelihood of majority of citizen’s.
He added that the Bank of Sierra Leone also has a role to play besides supervising, suggesting that it can only play a pivotal role in pumping money in the system through
The fiscal and deficit wing to ensure macroeconomic stability.
Frankly he said the Central Bank has not also performed to the expectation of many people because poverty is still prevalent, despite the fiscal policy which he said fuels inflation which is a risk to economic governance.
Mansaray called for a legal frame work to maintain inflation, adding that inflation is not only monetary issues but some of the structural issues should be addressed to avoid inflation going up again in the country.
The Bank is trying to ensure proper monitoring mechanism for Micro stability “we are implementing guidelines for the operations of the Bank and the commercial Banks to ensure stability of the economy through regulation,” the Bank of Sierra Leone’s lead researcher said.
He added that frantic efforts have also been made by the Bank to implement Anti money laundering laws. Mansaray noted that, “We have challenges in the area of distribution of wealth from the rich to the poor and it can be enhanced through the public and private sectors which plays a crucial role towards inclusive growth and sustainable development.”
He said records from Statistics Sierra Leone indicate that shock on food prices may cause inflation coupled with high prices for natural resources.
The government he said must ensure that agriculture is promoted for economic growth and sustainable development. James D. Rogers said the Bank of Sierra Leone should address the looming inflation in the economy and recalled that some six years ago the country’s inflation was reduced to single digits.
He said real GDP growth around the world is around 5 to 6% and was not convinced that our economy is expected to grow by 30% adding the country’s deficit is around 700m, which cannot be raised easily by the government of Sierra Leone.
He said mining taxes and royalties are very low in the country as compared to other countries involved in the mining business which he said is largely responsible for poor performance of the economy because the government is spending more than what it earns.