Buchanan, Grand Bassa County – Marketers in Buchanan say low interest loans and jobs should be priorities for the next government.
Their call comes just a day after the election commission sanctioned Presidential and representative candidates to propagate their manifestos upon which they want to get elected.
The marketers believe low interest loans will enable them incur profits and job creation will improve Liberians purchasing power.
They have often complained about the lack of loans to keep their businesses afloat as well as low purchasing power of consumers.
“If the Government of Liberia was helping us with loans and creating jobs for buyers to buy, time like this most of us have our own houses and money that could change our lives but everything this time is hard because no job so the buyers are not buying,” said Janjay Garway.
Some marketers in the port city rely on loans from commercial banks, which they claim, “interest rates are too high” and create constraints for them.
Madam Garway, chair of the fish-sellers at a market in Hardlandsville a township just outside Buchanan, says lack of jobs is a factor affecting grassroots businesses like theirs. She wants the next government remedy the problem.
Many marketers are breadwinners for their families but the shrinking economy evident by the devaluation of the Liberian dollar is hitting them pretty hard.
“How will we know whether the market we are doing is gaining profit or not when we using the same money to send our children to school and get food for our families,” she said.
“So this new government that coming really needs to carefully hear our cries or else we will be suffering all the time.”
Jeremiah James, chairman of the cassava leaves sellers at the Logan market on Tubman Street in Buchanan, agrees that more jobs will strengthen the local economy.
“While it is true we as marketers need loans from the next government but the next government should prioritize job creation because if there is no job the sellers will be more than the consumers,” he said.
Grand Bassa have witnessed decline in jobs due to the exit of BHP Billiton and Buchanan Renewable (BR) in recent years.
And the drop of iron ore price on the global market also saw huge job cuts at steel company ArcelorMittal Liberia that adversely affected many local businesses.
Meanwhile, politics has taken central stage across the country ahead of crucial October 10 polls elections.
While campaigning is expected to heighten in the next couple of weeks, candidates will focus on soliciting support from all walks of life.
Some observers have slammed politicians for failing to address the main issues affecting the electorates but are rather attacking their opponents.
Voter apathy still looms and these marketers who are also registered voters want more assurance from aspirants that their plight will be heard after the elections.
Elton Wroinbee Tiah, FPA Contributor