Written By: Anderson Slober Chea
Let me begin with the facts surrounding the institution called DITCO. The institution, DITCO was established in 1960 and became incorporated in 1971 as a department store in Liberia with offices located on 45 Randall Street, Monrovia, Liberia. During that time and moving forward, they were involved in the sales of the following product and or service:
Large and small appliances, gift items, furniture, carpet, rugs to name a few. Other items in their line of sales fall in the category of Home & Garden. DITCO main type of business was distributorship and wholesalers.
Now to my argument against Samuel P. Jackson’s boldface LIE. There are businesses like the LR & Sons (Electronics & appliances), SHARP ShowRoom (Electronic & Appliances), HADID Electronic, Samsung ShowRoom just to name a few that are directly in competition with the 58 years old FAILED-DITCO management who either deliberately refused to upgrade their shelves or lack the ability to remodel the business to its strategic advantage. As such, competitively, DITCO have been beaten out of the electronic market by these giants who innovatively are far ahead of DITCO as it relates to “electronics and appliances”.
Similarly, DISTCO has be outmatched by the likes of J-MART Furniture, Modern Home and other giant in the furniture & carpet business and as a result of such a competition DITCO went out of business like “Comium” & “Libercell”, the GSM companies that couldn’t survive in the GSM market in Liberia. But somehow, LoneStar Cell had to creatively remodel its brand by partnering with MTN South Africa to stay competitive in the GSM Market along with Cellcom that also later metaphors into Orange to remain afloat. Other emerging businesses like Sportika, Boima Folley Sports Store have all beaten DITCO in that category.
I could go on and on and talk about why DITCO as a failed company CANNOT or SHOULD NOT be used to illustrate the seriousness the economy is faced with. The government is making progress to resuscitate a collapse economy that didn’t start in 2017 but rather as far back as 2014 when George M. Weah was no President.
“Economic growth has stagnated in Liberia since 2014 due to low commodity prices and the Ebola outbreak in 2014–15. After estimated growth of 0.7% in 2014 and 0% in 2015, the economy contracted 1.6% in 2016. A modest pickup in gold exports supported growth at an estimated 2.6% in 2017. Further gold and iron ore expansion, commercial palm oil production, and normalization of investment after the political transition are projected to support a growth rate of 3.9% in 2018 and 5% in 2019. Nevertheless, medium-term growth is expected to remain below pre-Ebola levels of over 7%.” – African Development Bank.
These are the kinds of LIE when you allow to permeate through the society without a check, it tends to have a negative effect on the minds of our people. This is the same kind of misinformation campaign that the likes of Samuel P. Jackson and others perpetrated that brought us to where we are today as a country recovering from a brutal civil conflict that didn’t only take away lives but destroy the nerves and basic fabric of our society.
FrontPageAfrica’s misinformation campaign President George M. Weah – The Leader of the Pro-Poor Revolution.
It is not secret that Rodney Sieh has never like the name George M. Weah to be associated with the Presidency. And in his own way, he has since manifest that with all the negative reportage even before the 2017 Presidential and Legislative election even started. Those are the known facts.
But then one could understand, Rodney of all person is at liberty to support whomever he wants to support politically, but going to the extent to try to paint the entire country black for one selfish aim is not only unpatriotic, its counterproductive to the very reason we exist as a country – Liberia.
Misinforming the public is as bad as wagging war against the peace loving people of Liberia. Because these negatives and mostly untrue stories have a way of reaching the international press. When they do, the only impact is withdrawal of international goodwill, scaring of potential investors, and guess who suffers the aftermath of those decisions – the Liberia people.
Rodney thread on rumors to write a headline that reads: “Local, Foreign Owned Businesses Shutting Down amid Deteriorating Economy”. And he unremorsefully used Exclusive Super Stores and TOTAL as his example of businesses that are closing along with the FAILED-DITCO that I have already dealt with sufficiently.
The good thing is that I have real facts surrounding these two entities. Let me begin with Exclusive Super Store for a start.
Exclusive Super Store
This is a business that is part of a chain of businesses that are owned and operated by T. Choithram & Sons (Liberia) Inc. The chain has Supermarkets, Pharmacies, Wholesale Outlets (assorted goods), soon-to-be zinc factory. I say this because I have the facts surrounding the operations of T. Choithram & Sons (Liberia) Inc.
The entity is NOT closing down its operations in Liberia and they are NOWHERE near doing such thing as Rodney Sieh would want the public to believe. In fact, the entity has open two additional branches of the “Exclusive Super Store”. One on the Somalia Drive and the other at the Rehab Community.
Again, no business will want to operate with losses. The strategic and innovate movement of Exclusive Super Store is in NO WAY a “SHUTTING DOWN” as Rodney Sieh would like to misinform the public. The entity relocated it Center Street business for strategic business reasons and NOT the LIE Rodney tries to put out there.
For this, there is a little twist about the way TOTAL operations is going on currently in Liberia. There are other Petro Stations like AMINATA, Liberian Petroleum (LP) and or Super Petro (SP) that are still operating though they are still negotiating with GoL regarding the price of liter of Petro on the Liberian market. I have spoken to the MD of LPRC and I know for a fact that the issue with TOTAL is far beyond what Rodney is reporting. And with the able leadership of the LPRC MD, I believe the GoL through the Commerce Ministry and the Petroleum Importers will come to an amicable solution. This is the only the reason why TOTAL is still lock into negotiation with the GoL.
Finally, I would like to inform the Liberian people to kindly do themselves a favor by going beyond the headlines of stories that the “doomsdays” writers put out. Sometime, it takes a little time to just see through some of these lies. God bless Liberia and our leader – H.E. Dr. George M. Weah, the leader of the Pro-Poor Revolution.
The Author is the Chairman for Research & Strategic Communications Committee Coalition for Democratic Change – CDC