The Parliament of Sierra Leone has ratified a pivotal agreement between the Government of Sierra Leone and the Socfin Agricultural Company (SAC) Sierra Leone Limited operating in Malen Chiefdom, Pujehun District.

This agreement, initially presented on November 30, 2023, was given the nod by Parliament during a recent session.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Ibrahim Alpha Sesay, in presenting the agreement, emphasized Socfin’s significant role in the country’s economic landscape. Noting the company’s adherence to corporate social responsibility, Minister Sesay highlighted Socfin’s considerable investment in the palm oil industry, generating substantial employment opportunities for Sierra Leoneans.

Debating on the agreement, various members of Parliament commended the company’s contributions, with Hon. Alice Kumbeh praising Socfin’s impact on employment and oil production. Opposition Whip 1, Hon. Abdul Karim Kamara, echoed support for the agreement, aligning it with the nation’s developmental goals, specifically citing the “Feed Salone” initiative.

However, concerns about parliamentary oversight during the agreement process were raised by Hon. Ibrahim Tawa Conteh, Deputy Whip 2, emphasizing the need for comprehensive scrutiny and accurate portrayal of the agreement’s reality to attract foreign investments.

MPs, including Hon. Aaron Aruna Koroma and Hon. Musa Fofanah, advocated for joint parliamentary oversight to monitor Socfin’s activities, stressing the need for corporate social responsibility to benefit local communities and ensure tax compliance for revenue mobilization.

In conclusion, the Leader of Government Business, Hon. Mathew Sahr Nyuma, urged MPs not to politicize the project, underscoring the company’s positive contributions to employment and development within Sierra Leone. He reassured the House that the agreement prioritizes transparency and the people’s welfare, emphasizing the focus on skill development and local training programs.

The agreement, fostering employment, knowledge transfer, and skills development, received widespread support, ultimately aligning with the country’s aspirations for economic growth and social progress.

It is worth noting that Socfin Agricultural Company (SAC) started operation in 2011 in the Malen Chiefdom of Pujehun District and was the only foreign company that continued operation even in the heat of the Ebola Epidemic in the country.

The company currently employs over 2000 Sierra Leoneans from all parts of the country and beyond.