By State House Communication Unit
President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma last Friday 19 January officially opened the Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture Building (SLCCIA) at 24 Charlotte Street in Freetown.
Delivering his keynote address, President Koroma said the commissioning of SLICCA Headquarters was another milestone to making the Chamber of Commerce an integral part of the country’s national infrastructure development. He expressed sentiments of delight and satisfaction for the fact that the chamber has taken a deliberate decision to house the two key institutions which are close to the heart of the private sector – the African Growth Opportunity Act and the Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution. With this, the president said, Sierra Leoneans and foreign investors now have a place they could proudly call home as well as a place they could come and conveniently obtain business information, seek clarifications, network and discuss business opportunities.
President Koroma commended SLCCIA for the expansion of its membership base particularly the inclusion of young people in the business school and business start-ups as young people occupy an integral part of the country’s national development agenda.
Making a statement, the president of SLCCIA Mr Christo J. Forster said the different arms of the chamber have been established to help channel all partners’ efforts in a way that will address critical constraints to trade competitiveness, capture opportunities to expand trade, demonstrate regional productive potential to investors and facilitate greater investment. He added that the facility now has an improved working environment for staff and will meet the increasing demand and expectation of the business community.
In her statement as chairperson of the occasion, Mrs. Alice Onomake said the chamber has gained recognition nationally and internationally in serving the private sector adding that the new facility will improve on programmes and activities and will greatly enhance the chamber’s capacity in the design, development and marketing of ongoing services and delivery to its members. She noted that the chambers activities are designed to promote economic interests of its members and help them to stay afloat in the competitive market economy.
In a related development, the President Koroma also visited and concluded a conducted tour of the new headquarters of the Office of the Ombudsman at Charlotte Street, Freetown. He was led on the tour by the Ombudsman Mr Melron Nicol Wilson. The office of the Ombudsman is set up by law to investigate complaints from members of the public, who claimed to have suffered injustice as a result of maladministration by government ministries, departments, agencies, statutory corporations or institutions established with public funds. Their investigations are to determine whether an administrative action by a government department is unlawful, unreasonable, unfair, discriminatory, factually deficient or otherwise wrong.