Freetown Traders Threaten to Close Stores For Two Weeks

Traders in Freetown have decided to close down their shops as part of a two- week sit-down strike, starting from Thursday 3rd March 2022.

In the early hours of yesterday, the traders close their shops and businesses as part of a peaceful protest to the already imposed National Revenue Authority (NRA) Goods and Services Tax Electronic Cash Register (ECR) machines recently installed by the authority at shops and other business entities across the country. Shops across Freetown were closed from the east, the central business district and in the west of the city due to the Governments introduction and full enforcement of the operation of the NRA ECR machines by business entities.

Restaurants, pharmacies, clothing stores, building materials and constriction building materials and construction hardware stores, electronic stores and other forms of trading shops were off business on Thursday in show of their disapproval of the introduction and imposition of the ECR machine, Owners of shops and stores.

Forum Newspaper spoke with on Rawdon Street, Siaka Stevens Street and Sani Abacha Streets all in Freetown expressed their disappointment of the rate of extortions being meted out to them by government agencies in the name of tax collection including the infamous duplicated GST arguing that why should the Government calculate their daily sales to refund them as expected.

According to one of the shop owners Baimba Jawara at Wilberforce Street in Freetown, there is no need for the Government to calculate their daily sales, because they are “managing private investments”.

Forum Newspaper reports that, he describes the ECR as a huge burden on consumers as it would trigger price increase in the country.

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“We spend a lot on paying our GST and other charges just for us to sustain our business in this country.” He cried out, saying: “if these issues are not resolved, our shops or stores will remain closed for over two weeks or more various.” Some Sani Abacha Street traders who randomly spoke to forum said: The introduction of ECR is not welcome and can never be embraced by the business community.”

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