By Ragan M. Conteh
The Milla Group and Jolaks Industry, on Tuesday 20th October 2020, have donated 600 rubber chairs, 150 rubber tables and 150 five gallons of cooking oil worth millions of Leones to Parliamentarians.
The donation, according to Rajesh Hemnani, who delivered the gesture, is part of the two companies’ corporate social responsibilities as well as introducing their local products to the people of Sierra Leone, especially the lawmakers who are pivotal in assessing quality service delivery for companies and institutions in the country.
The ceremony, which took place at State Hall, attracted the Leader of Government Business, Hon. Matthew Sahr Nyuma, Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Solomon Sengehpoh, the Clerk of Parliament, Hon. Paran Tarawallie and Leader of the opposition APC in Parliament, Hon. Chernoh Maju Bah, and a host of members from all sides.
Updating Members of Parliament, Rajesh Hemnani said Milla Group started in 2001 and have manufactured water tanks, PCs and conduit pipes, shopping bags, household products like buckets, chairs and tables, among others, adding that they also created the hand free washing device to fight the COVID-19.
“This has helped maintain the hygiene required in schools, institutions, hospitals and banks,” Rajesh stressed.
He informed MPs that Jolaks Manufacturing refines and produces Padi Oil in Sierra Leone. He said the byproducts can be used to manufacture soap, cosmetics, margarine, short cakes and many other related products.
He was however pleased to hand over the 600 chairs, 150 tables and 150 jerry cans of Padi Oil, which are all locally made in Sierra Leone. He added that the donation in Parliament is to showcase their products and create awareness nationwide.
Rajesh Hemnani further informed members of the media and Parliamentarians that the donated items were made in Sierra Leone, adding that the donation is to alert MPs that the company is working relentlessly to ensure that Sierra Leone continues to diversify the economy through the productive industry.
He furthered that this is not the first time of making such donation. According to him, they have donated rubber tanks to the government to fight against COVID-19 in the country.
Rajesh Hemnani disclosed that the cooking oil is made in Sierra Leone and that the company now has the intention to export Sierra Leone products out of Sierra Leone, thereby creating job opportunities as well as strengthening the local content policy of Government.
“You are the lawmakers and it is good that we use this opportunity to showcase our locally made products. I pledge the companies’ continued support of the Government agenda for diversification as well as helping to promote our corporate social responsibility,” he told MPs.
He expressed appreciation to the Government, especially Members of Parliament, for legislating business friendly laws, adding that the companies are really encouraged and enjoying the business friendly environment. Again, he pledged their commitment to introduce another brand to Members of Parliament so as to enable MPs know what their company is producing for the people of Sierra Leone.
Receiving the items, the Leader of Government Business, Hon. Matthew Sahr Nyuma, expressed thanks and appreciation to the Milla Group and Jolaks Industry for the kind donation.
“This signifies that both the companies and lawmakers are working closely for the benefit of Sierra Leoneans,” Hon Nyuma said.
He said the President is very concerned about diversification and the promotion of the local content in the country. He added that the introduction of the locally made products, to the lawmakers, is just an added advantage to what Parliament is championing and how MPs want the nation to have credible companies that are of best interest for the people.
Hon. Nyuma said this is not the first time Members of Parliament have had such huge donations from Milla Group and Jolaks, as they have done something similar during the trying times of COVID-19. He expressed thanks to the management of the two companies for the gesture.
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Solomon Sengepoh Thomas, said “This is the type of companies we, as lawmakers, are yearning for our beloved nation. This is a sign and evidence to show that Sierra Leone can do it with collaboration with credible companies like Milla Group and Jolaks Industry. We are well satisfied as MPs,” Hon Sengepoh noted.
He pointed out that the donation is another way of introducing the company’s products to MPs.
“It is a welcome idea, and this will serve as a sterling example to other companies,” he informed. He thanked the management of the companies for making the House proud. He expressed that the House of Parliament collaborates with the companies to ensure more quality products.
The President of Female Caucus in Parliament, who doubles as the Chairman of Trade and Industry Committee in Parliament, Hon. Veronica Kadie Sesay, said her Committee has gone through oversight functions to business and companies and that they are satisfied with the production level of Milla Group and Jolaks Industry in Sierra Leone.
She disclosed that the donation is not a surprise to them, as the companies have always stood the test of time in terms of adhering to their corporate social responsibilities, job creation and contribution to revenue generation of government.