Friday, July 19, 2019

Stakeholders Not Pleased with Suspension of ‘Bikers’

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By Nelson Manneh

Bakers, ‘bikers’, vendors have expressed their displeasure with the decision of the government to prohibit ‘bikers’ from supplying bread for retail sale.

The ‘bikers’ use motor bicycles to supply bread they obtain from bakeries to shops and vendors for retail sale.

The Ministry of Trade decided last week to temporarily suspend the operation of all ‘bikers’ including bicycles from Kanifing Municipality to Brikama, in the distribution of bread with immediate effect for a period of three months.

Abdoulie Marong, a baker who works in one of the bakeries in Serrekunda said the decision made by the government is affecting their business.

He said following the issuance of the press release by the Trade Ministry, even people who need only one loaf of bread have walk to the bakery to buy it.

“It is very challenging to us as at now. People come from different angles to buy bread even if they need few and our production has also reduced,” he said.

Lamin Camara, a supplier told this reporter that he is a family man and survived with his family from the little he got after supplying bread.

Mr. Camara said they were expecting the government to come up with another alternative different from this one, that some of them as at now have nothing to do in order to earn a living.

“I have no other job other than supplying bread. Without supplying bread, I will find it very difficult to put food on the table especially with this holy month of Ramadan,” he said.

Fatou Jassey a vendor who sells stew said she has never collected bread from the bakeries.

She said she doesn’t even know where the bakeries are located in her community.

“The authorities should know that some of us are living in remote areas and our hopes are only on the ‘bikers’. Without the ‘bikers’, we will find it very difficult to continue with our business,” she noted.

Lamin Dampha the Deputy Director of Trade, Industry and Regional Integration and Employment yesterday, the 6th of May 2019, told Foroyaa that the suspension of ‘bikers’ is limited to ‘senfour’ or modern bakeries. ‘Bikers’ can continue supplying ‘tapalapa’ bread.

“After thorough negotiation with the operators in the entire value chain and consultation with regulatory authorities we have decided to suspend them (the ‘bikers’) for three months,” he said.

Mr. Dampha added that the ‘bikers’ are not on strike, that they are reacting to the press release and this is why they are not supplying ‘senfour’.

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