Monrovia - The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Axel Addy on Tuesday presented a quarterly report which seemed more or less like a turn over note of a government edging toward the end of its tenure.
Though the administration has vowed to keep working until it reaches to the finish line, he didn’t mince words outlining his achievements.
In a jammed press conference at the Ministry of Commerce, Minister Addy drilled journalists and the listening public via ELBC through the Ministry achievements, challenges and the prospects under his watch.
“Collectively across the executive, we have commenced cataloguing all of our assets, legal and policy instruments for a comprehensive turnover. At Commerce, under the leadership of the Deputy Minister for Administration, Franz Sawyer and his team, we are aggressively pursuing the objective to upgrade our facility including this newly upgraded multipurpose room you are sitting in."
"We are cataloguing all of our assets to provide such report to GSA and organizing all of our policies, laws, regulations as part of the turnover. This is standard procedure for administrative turnovers,” Addy said.
Addy Continues: “Fellow Liberians, in a few months we will all go to the polls to exercise our political franchise. For me, it was and is an invaluable experience as this will be the second time in my entire life that I get to go to the polls to vote for the candidate of my choosing."
"As we wind down in these last few months, as a team, we have been working on our transition of our replacement; we have embarked on a number of initiatives,” Addy said.
At the end of his statement Addy recollected on the achievements made thus far particularly his rebranding agenda, developing good policies for trade and the opening up of the private sector.
“In April 2013, we decided on the Rebranding Commerce strategy, as our tool to serve our country with a commitment to developing good policies for trade, support to revitalizing the economy and opening the private sector to create work opportunities for our citizens,” The Commerce Minister said.
Minister Addy added that the ministry set out to promote good policies for revitalizing the Liberian economy to allow the private sector to expand and provide employment opportunities for the people of Liberia.
Addy said, despite the challenges the Ministry of Commerce has achieve many milestones in pursuit of their agenda adding that they stimulate an entrepreneurial culture through the small Business Administration and the annual MSME Conferences.
“We are happy to report that, in pursuit of the execution of the law, we as a government across all branches of government, have awarded in the first fiscal year, 2015/16, $43 million dollars in contracts to 457 owned businesses in pursuit of the 25% public procurement requirement in keeping with the Small Business Empowerment Act,” The Commerce Minister added.
“We were only able to realize this outstanding achievement thanks to the strong partnership with the PPCC, but we know we can do more, and this is why today, we will be signing an MOU with LIBA to help us promote this opportunity nationwide and build the capacity of our people to take advantage of their right to benefit from public procurement given to them by an act of this government,” Addy continued.
Addy reaffirmed the government’s commitment to further transforming the private sector by ensuring a higher level of transparency and predictability in the business climate.
“We embarked on this by concluding an extensive seven years process to join the World Trade Organization where we made a commitment to complete several key reform projects that will further transform the fabric of our business climate."
"These commitments, however difficult and challenging they may be, are commitment for a better Liberia,” Addy said.
Addy averred that he looked forward to the day where government service is efficient and fast through an E-government platform.
“When we can get to a level where government service delivery is only a smart phone away; when our port clearing is reduced to 48 hours, when our entrepreneurs can export their agricultural and manufacturing products across the globe because we have in country legal quality infrastructure; when the rights of our artist are protected through the new intellectual property law and bottle necks that get in the way of making business in Liberia are resolved,” Addy said.
“When taxpayers can pay their taxes using mobile money, and tourists can arrive at our airport and received a visa on arrival.”
Minister Addy announced that the MSME conference will be held this year in November adding that the conference will focus on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) innovation in Liberia.
“The 2017 MSME conference is being organized by the Small Business Administration in collaboration with several partners in the ICT field as well as other development and government partners."
" The theme will be “From Vision to Implementation: Buying Liberian, Building Liberia” with a special emphasis on “Promoting Information and Communication Technology (ICT) innovations in Liberia,” Addy said.