In response to what he termed as “baseless and unfounded allegations” published in a local tabloid, the Executive Secretary of the Sierra Leone Chamber of Agribusiness Development (SLeCAD), Ahmed Nanoh, has denied that his organization received $7,000,000 from the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).
Nanoh claimed that the unfounded claims is an effort to smear not only his image but government’s enthusiasm to promote agriculture for economic development, and that the newspaper should either do an immediate retraction of the article published on Thursday, 6th June 2013, or face court action.
Flanked by the National Co-ordinator of the Small Holder Commercialization Project (SCP), Prince Kamara, and other top officials of the SLeCAD project, Nanoh stated that the newspaper “put up a rabid display of ignorance”, by insinuating that the Executive Director had set up a bogus office to handle the alleged fictitious amount purportedly collected from the FAO.
The Executive Secretary also noted in what was a hasty Press Conference at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, that the author had committed “the highest degree of fallacy” by suggesting he has been allegedly engaged in such “fictitious” acts because the Vice President is at his behest, especially in the provision of the said funding.
However, the Executive Secretary reiterated that SLeCAD is legally registered and established by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, with the mandate to help develop Sierra Leone’s emerging agro-based industry, and has performed exceedingly well in that direction.
He revealed that at the moment, the institution is charged with the responsibility of overseeing a grant to the tune of Le 800,000,000 to indigenous private sector companies such as ARUL, and the Sierra Leone Produce Marketing Company (SLPMC).
Nanoh added that this was for the purpose of buying domestic rice from local farmers for value addition and marketing. He said that the funds were made available by the Government of Sierra Leone which was in partial support towards the Innovation Fund for Agricultural Transformation (IFAT), managed by SLeCAD.
He further explained that IFAT is an innovation fund modeled to support the establishment of agro industrialization to promote job creation and food security.
By Poindexter Sama