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Sierra Leone News: Marine sector can generate $100m yearly if… Hon. Mustapha Sellu

The Honourable Member of Parliament representing Constituency 095 Moyamba District, Hon. Mustapha M. Sellu, (SLPP) has disclosed that the marine resources if handled well can generate more than $100 million USD annually.
He made this disclosure during second allotted day for the debate on the Motion of Thanks to President Julius Maada Bio for his speech delivered on the State Opening of Parliament.
The Honourable said as an expert in marine resources, he can assure that with the available resources at the sea, the sector is more than enough to transform the country’s economy within the shortest possible time.
He commended President Bio for his appointment on the Minister to handle the sector in relation to his promise in transforming the marine sector referring the House to Paragraphs 11 to 16 where the President elaborated on the challenges and solutions to the problems affecting the Marine sector.
According to President Bio, “The sector provides direct employment to about 200,000 people and indirect employment to an estimated 600,000 persons along coastlines in Freetown, Kambia, Port Loko, Moyamba and Pujehun. The sector contributes nearly 10% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product”.
President Bio furthered that the critical challenges in the sector are the illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and the limited accessibility to the international market, disclosing that as a result, “the total annual revenue loss to Sierra Leone is estimated at over $50 million USD”.
“My administration will focus on improving marine resource governance and sustainable management of fisheries, reducing illegal fishing, improving the quality of marine products and developing fishing infrastructure” said President Bio.
He recalled the statement of former President Koroma when he “promised to lay down his life for the youth”, maintaining that the “New Direction” is aimed at improving the skills and techniques of our youth to enable them gain access to jobs.
Commenting on the area of the country’s mineral resources, Hon. Sellu urged Parliament to review of the Mines and Minerals Act of 2009 with the view to benefit both the landowners and the affected communities. According to him the current Mines Act of 2009 did not make much provision for the people and affected communities.
Hon. Saa Francis Bendu (C4C) representing Constituency 027 of Kono District also recommended the review of the 2009 Mines and Minerals Act to enhance healthy sharing of the proceeds from mines to benefit the people and affected communities.
By Alhaji Manika Kamara
Tuesday June 05, 2018.

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