After admitting that the high tariff in Liberia, especially on imported goods in the country, which is causing serious problem for the common people in the country, President George Manneh Weah has made initial strides in ensuring that local businesses get some relief.
Following a meeting with the leadership of the business rights advocacy group, Patriotic Entrepreneurs of Liberia (PATEL) last week, some of the President’s initial interventions included dropping all penalties on retail imports and waiving storage penalties, and the payment of dues and taxes in Liberian dollars.
The Acting Chairman of PATEL, Dominic Nimley, has described the Freeport of Monrovia as a slaughter zone for Liberian businesses. He said very high tariffs imposed by the APM terminals as well as double taxation on goods entering the country are unresolved challenges that are gradually killing Liberian businesses.
Mr. Nimley said the Freeport of Monrovia is a slaughter zone for Liberian businesses because its operations are taking most locals out of business. There are new measures that are currently being introduced at the Port that are inimical to the survival of local businesses, he noted.
The Patriotic Entrepreneurs of Liberia (PATEL) has commended President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Executive Order No. 89.
The Executive Order contains intrinsic policy measures that are intended to stimulate economic growth, with emphasis on reducing administrative or compliance cost, business process requirements on concessionaires, including small and medium-sized businesses and the manufacturing sector.
Caesar Morris, IT consultant and chief communications officer of PATEL, said though the organization is in serious crisis, they have succeeded to a large extent in the organization’s advocacy.
Friendly it’s a sad experience and I’m so disappointed that detractors, pay agents are able to perpetuate evil against law abiding, peaceful citizens in a nation like Liberia. Simply put, I’m being harassed and destroy by Presley Tenwah and his pay agents. The truth will come out in court and I will be vindicated of all charges of their evil conspiracy against me.
I was charged for Forgery, criminal coercion and harassment. Please note, there is a big difference from being charge for a crime and being guilty or sentenced for a crime. Those charges are base on false claims made up by Presley Tenwah to destroy my reputation.
Government has raised a red-flag warning leaders of business groups here against disturbing the peace and hindering of economic growth, saying such actions will not be tolerated.
“So we want to sound this alarm again to all of those who are planning the disturbance of our peace and the disturbance of economic growth top lease desist because the government will not tolerate any disturbance of the peace nor will we tolerate any activity that will hinder economic growth in our country”, chief government spokesman Eugene Nagbe said Friday, 31 March at Julijuah, Bomi County.
The National Chairman of Patriotic Entrepreneurs of Liberia (PATEL), Presley S. Tenwah, says the Common Extended Tariff of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) if amended by the Liberian Legislature would be a bad law that leaves Liberian businesses at a disadvantage because more Liberians are engaged in small businesses.
Tenwah said most of the goods Liberians trade in, such as used clothes and used cars, would not benefit from the ECOWAS Tariff. He expressed the concern on Monday during public hearing hosted by the House of Representatives on “An Act to Amend The Act Ratifying and Adopting the ECOWAS Common Extended Tariff (CET) as Amended”.
Despite efforts by the Liberia National Police and other security apparatus to dissuade a group of Liberian entrepreneurs from abandoning a planned protest, the aggrieved business owners say they will carry on the protest as planned.
State security officials are citing security risk as a basis to ditch the idea of holding the protests in Monrovia.
The planned protest comes on the eve of the start of voter registration for the 2017 presidential and legislative elections.
The protest action organized by the Patriotic Entrepreneurs of Liberia (PATEL in the demand of the reduction of the high rate of exchange between the United States Dollars and the Liberian Dollars has gained ground in Monrovia and its environs as businesses have closed, while commuters’ bid to move about their normal businesses has been seized as a result of the protest action.
The entire city of Monrovia has been locked down with the suspension of normal businesses as members of the PATEL trooped on Capitol Hill to submit their petition to the Liberian lawmakers on what they called Tattered Liberian Economy; with the continue increment of the exchange rate between the United States Dollars and the Liberian Dollars which currently stands at 1USD to 115LD.
Monrovia, Africa’s oldest capital city has been locked up with no semblance of business activities taken place as a result of the planned three days protest action by the Patriotic Entrepreneurs of Liberia (PATEL in demand of the reduction of the high rate of exchange between the United States Dollars and the Liberian Dollars.
“This is the first time for the City of Monrovia to be knocked down like this; all the stores and other business centers including supermarkets have been closed as a result of this protest. The Liberian Government must see reason to address the plight of its citizens,” words of David Daniels a residents of Monrovia speaking to our reporter noted.
As Liberians patiently wait for the expiration of this day, organizers of this protest have announced that it will continue for additional two days, if the Government fails to address their demands in handling the issue of the exchange rate between the United States Dollars and the Liberian Dollars.