“We are formalizing the establishment of a National Investment Board that will be co-chaired by me and the Vice President. It will also comprise the Sierra Leone Investment & Export Promotion Agency and representation from various agencies and government ministries.
“But most importantly, it will comprise representation from the private sector to facilitate dialogue between the Investment Board and the private sector,” President Bio announced to his audience.
He went on to state that “We believe that aftercare for businesses is extremely important to maintaining existing investors whose good-experience narratives will attract new investors.
He added that when finalized, the investment forum will not only be a one-stop shop for everything business and investment but it will be a forum for continuous interaction and discussion between government and business about what we must continue getting right for the sake of business.
“But while we wait for the formalization of the Investment Board, we have done necessary reforms of the existing Corporate Affairs Commission to simplify the business registration process. No more endless forms, bribes to dodgy middle men and facilitators, and tortuous process that often end in frustration,” President Bio said.
He informed his audience that the private sector had recently indicated that Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and monitoring fees are a bit on the high side. He explained that EIA fees are paid relative to the size of the environmental footprint of a particular company.
“So we have introduced necessary reform in that area. In monthly reports, the EIA uses a matrix to inform companies of key assessment parameters and what they can do to mitigate observed environmental risks and so by staying engaged with the private sector, the EIA has reduced fees by between 30% and 70% and those fees are payable in Leones and in installments,” the president added.