Madam Commerce Minister, You’re Killing the Economy, Strangulating Businesses and Putting Liberians’ Health at Risk
WHATEVER THE GAME plan is, whatever the benefits are, whoever interest it is, the refusal of the Minister of Commerce to grant Import Permit Documents (IPDs) to local and other foreign businesses for the importation of frozen foods is very diabolical.
FRONTPAGEAFRICA has gathered from multiple businesses that they are currently stranded and their revenues are steadily dwindling due to a ploy orchestrated by Mawine G. Diggs and a foreign business to smartly impose monopoly on frozen foods.
THE SCHEME BY MINISTER Diggs who is said to have the backing some top-notch officials at the Executive Mansion, FrontPageAfrica gathered is intended to give this particular enterprise monopoly and time to sell out tons of frozen foods imported – some on the verge of expiration, others already expired.
IT IS UNTHINKABLE that such wickedness could exist in our country, especially under a Pro-poor government.
THESE BUSINESSES being denied IPDs are strangulating, some have threatened to lay off staff due to decline in revenue. The situation is also making it difficult for them to meet their financial obligations with banks and partners abroad.
IT IS ALSO UNTHINKABLE that the Minister of Commerce who is quite knowledgeable of the expired products on the market would craft such a scheme to put the health of citizens in jeopardy for a few dollars. With a broken health sector like ours, the quest to ensure quality control and food safety should never be taken lightly.
“Go to the minister’s office, you’ll see several applications for IPDs for frozen foods on her desk. She is refusing to sign them. Why? Does she have any idea what she is doing to our business? Of course, she does. She knows exactly what she is doing. Strangulating us to benefit a single individual. This is what discourages investors from coming to Liberia. They do it to us all the time,” one of the aggrieved Liberian entrepreneurs and a victim of the monopoly who asked for anonymity said to FrontPageAfrica.
Frozen foods like chicken feet, pig sheet, chicken, turkey, turkey wings, chicken wings, sausage, etc. These foods are part of Liberians every day food, therefore, making the demand for them on the market very high.
“We have received sufficient information among our partners and confirmed with our sources within the ministry of commerce that Minister Diggs is deliberately refusing to grant us the IPD because a particular company has tons of goods that they are on the verge of expiring. So, in order to clear it off the market, he needs monopoly – that means, he must be the only supplier and there will be a big rush to him and all his products will be cleared. That is the game they are playing at the Ministry of Commerce and the Minister, I am aware, has signed up to this,” another businessman said.
MINISTER DIGGS did not respond to FrontPageAfrica inquiries and has since remained mute on an initial report by FrontPageAfrica.
WE BELIEVE THAT when President Weah said Liberians will not be spectators in their own economy, he never envisioned that a day would come when a Minister in his government would be creating bottlenecks for businesses not to flourish. He never envisioned that the enemy against investment would come from within.
THIS ACTION by the Minister of Commerce if not put in check would kill several business and cause several Liberians to lose jobs. It would further slump the economy.
IF THIS IS WHAT the Pro-poor Agenda is about, then Liberia as a country is heading nowhere. Then the economy would continue slopping down the drain and we should expect more joblessness.
IT IS TIME THAT the Minister of Commerce puts herself in check and ensure a plain level field for all businesses in the country.