Rev. Sesay-Jones further stated that, the lack of the requisite training in these areas coupled with other unprofessional misconducts, led to the suspension of their activities on the 7th November, 2018.
Rev. Sesay-Jones said that the Ministry of Trade and Industry in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Standards Bureau developed the Inspection Manual for Business Houses, Warehouses, Stores and Factories, that demonstrates collaboration between Trade Monitors and the Sierra Leone Standards Bureau Scientific Officers.
Rev. Sesay-Jones emphasized that the Trade Manual provides general guidelines for inspection, monitoring the quality and price of goods in business facilities, warehouses and factories in Sierra Leone. He assured the various Consumer Groups in the country that the Ministry is speedily working on the Consumer Protection Bill that would regulate their operations as they are very important in the market.
In his remarks, the Senior Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Reginald Thomas, said that since the suspension of the activities of Trade Monitors, they have conducted series of trainings to enhance their technical and scientific skills to enable them perform their operational activities in implementing and enforcing trade and quality standards, and render assistance in trade promotion and development activities in the country.
Mr. Thomas, said the objectives of the Manual include, ensuring compliance with conformity assessment to National and International Standards, minimize the trade in substandard and counterfeit products, provide food safety assurance and ensure consumers understand information on price, quality and standard of products consumed.
The Senior Permanent Secretary urged Trade Monitors to educate the business community in the handling and storage of products in order to maintain quality; help protect the health and safety of consumers against the consumption of substandard products.
In his Vote of thanks, Trade Monitor, Rev. Cecil L. Shyllon said that the training broadened their knowledge, skills and experience that will make them more professional and efficient in carrying their activities.
Rev. Shyllon assured all that the Trade Monitors will do their utmost as they are now better positioned to report on expired foodstuffs in the markets, monitor and combat smuggling of essential commodities, data collections and reporting techniques on Trade statistics with the goal of improving the overall Service Delivery of the Ministry.