Liberia: Local Advocacy Wants Rights of Consumers Protected By Ensuring Value For Money
MONROVIA – A local civil society organization has launched a new project under the banner the ‘Consumer Rights Protection’. The new project would ensure the protection of consumers’ rights through litigation against people who tend to defraud them of their money.
Mr. Gbenimah Slopadoe, a former lawmaker from Grand Kru County, is the crafter of the new initiative. In an interview with FrontPageAfrica he said, the launch of the advocacy group would ensure that consumers’ rights are protected.
“As an advocacy group of consumers, we are against any thing that has the tendency to impede the will of consumers. We are doing it in a form of litigation, community engagement and other means that tend to stop the progress of the consumers.
“People take money belonging to consumers who are in this context the citizens for contracts that would benefits the communities but they don’t implement and there is no one to go after them; we will be going after these people through litigation to recover these monies. For example, the County Development Funds that have been misappropriated, we will sue lawmakers to account for the money.
“We are there to seek the interest of the people and make sure their interest are protected in terms of economics. We have lawyers who are willing to help us recover people money. We want to sue people for misappropriating people money.”
He described the advocacy group as fighter for economic middle class. “Someone needs to stand up for the ordinary people and I think I am the man to do that right now given my experience and know-how in government. I think we can make impact ensuring that our people are given value for their money.”
Mr. Slopadoe is also the crafter of a bill titled, ‘Pro-poor Bill’ The bill, which is the Small Business Empowerment Act 2020, seeks to empower Liberian businesses.
According to him, his vision is also backed by Article 7 of the Liberian Constitution, which puts a management contract between Government and the people to ensure that citizens participate in the management of the national economy.
“Clearly, this vision cannot be discretionary as it is mandated by our constitution. It has to be a law. Research shows over the years that Liberian businesses lack capital as a major weakness in the face of competing with capital owners and importers.”
The draft bill is also recommending that the current small business Department, 2018, be made an autonomy to be known as Small Business Authority headed by a director-general, who shall be assisted by two assistants for Administration and Fundraising Affairs, respectively.