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House Probes Commerce Ministry

first_imgHike in the price of rice on the Liberian market has forced the House of Representatives to launch an immediate investigation.Plenary on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 agreed to reduce itself to a single committee aimed at addressing the growing concern over the hike in the prices of rice and other basic commodities.The House voted overwhelmingly to summon authorities of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to appear before that August Body on Thursday, September 25, 2014 at 10 a.m.Plenary demanded that Commerce and Industry Minister Axel Addy appear along with his support staff, Assistant Minister Stephen Marvie and Inspector General Macaetoh Wreh.The House is deeply concerned over the sudden increase in the prices of basic commodities; an indication plenary believed is a “default on the part of the Ministry after assuring the general public of a stable economy as the country faces such national health emergency.”According to Representative Munah Pelham-Youngblood’s motion, the Ministry must be made to answer to inquiries surrounding “the increase, why there is any increase and what is the Ministry doing to remedy the situation.”Lofa County Representative Moses Kollie’s letter prompted the probe. His communication sparked up serious debate on the floor of the House’s chamber.During the deliberation, Capitol Hill seemed furious over the hike forcing few lawmakers to question donations from business entities to government’s Ebola fight.“We have to be careful with some of these donations that are coming to government in the name of fighting Ebola,” Bong County Representative Adam Bill Corneh said.He further indicated, “Business people always want to maximize profits. I believe that all the donations from these business people will have to be paid for indirectly by the suffering masses.”Following the outbreak of the second wave of the Ebola virus disease, the government of Liberia announced that it was on top of things relative to controlling the economy to avoid encountering similar situation.Different government functionaries including the Liberia National Police, Ministries of Transport and Commerce and Industry all announced that they were effective to respond to the hike in the prices of basic commodities and transport fares. Each warned violators of drastic measures.Few weeks later, Commerce released the authorized price of rice at US$17 per 25kg bag. However, at the moment, importers of rice are selling it for US$20 for a bag of 25kg with little or nothing being done by the Ministry of Commerce to address the matter.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Amidst absence of support for development

first_imgLocal residents of Bentol, Careysburg District, have begun engaging in self-help initiatives in the absence of budgetary support from government to meet their development needs.Under the leadership of Bentol City Mayor Christine Tolbert Norman, the local residents are engaged in manpower development that seeks to empower youths and women to produce and provide goods and services.In addition, the youth who are between 25 and 35 are trained at the William R. Tolbert Empowerment and Enlightenment Center to develop self realization.According to City Mayor Norman, the young people are taught values, including integrity, honesty, and truth and other social norms that can transform them in society.The locals are also trained in food processing, computer literacy, agriculture, sewing, amongst others, which she said will enable the local people to have some gainful employment.Mayor Norman in an interview with the Daily Observer yesterday said that they are engaged in health and sanitation awareness, enlightening locals how to care for their environment by keeping it clean and spreading health messages in schools, churches and in communities.“When the youths are made to know and trust themselves, they will have that psychosocial enlightenment of what they subscribe to. We are therefore trying to work with them to know and trust themselves and develop some core values,” she said.According to Mayor Norman market women are also people on her agenda to build them a market structure so they can have a specific place to sell their goods, instead of going to the Red Light market where they sit in the sun all day long.“We are working to build their market and find customers who will go to Bentol to purchase processed food, including potato greens, grinded cassava leave and other food stuff,” the Bentol Mayor noted.Mayor Norman, who is a daughter of the late President William R. Tolbert, Jr., told this newspaper that the City has planned a festival on February 21 to celebrate partners who have immensely contributed to their self-help initiatives and to recognize efforts of the locals in cleaning up their communities.At the occasion, she said she would sign and subsequently launch a book titled, “It is Time for Change.” The book according to her highlights the legacy of the late President William R. Tolbert in nation and institution building.She said it contains speeches of the late President on principles and policies he pursued during his regime.She said they include the late president’s position on the establishments of the Mano River Union (MRU), West African Rice Development Association (WARDA), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and inspirational speeches made at the Baptist Alliance.Also, the late president’s domestic policy of ‘Total Involvement in Higher Heights’ and the educational policy that allowed many to acquire education are highlighted.She said proceeds from the sale of the book will be used to support the William R. Tolbert Education Foundation. According to her, the family is currently constructing the foundation and will contain a museum, library and training areas for young people.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more