28 January 2013

Liberia: Heed the Government's Caveat!


Over the weekend, the Government of Liberia(GoL) through the Ministry of Commerce & Industry issued a strong worded press release in Monrovia, cautiously warning major rice importers in the country to refrain from engaging in negative public relations that would undermine its efforts.

As rice remains the most politically sensitive commodity in the country, the GoL further warned against all unnecessary media propaganda and the play of politics in the sector, as in the case of the Swiss Rice Firm mentioned about in the local newspapers recently.

The GoL stated emphatically that competition in an open market system is measured by the natural forces of supply and demand and not undue actions that could lead to the artificial and/or real scarcity of the commodity on the local market.

However, the GoL assured the public that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, which is headed by Minister Miata Besoloy, will do all within its powers to vigorously protect the market from any form or shape of misconduct that has the potential to undermine national food security in keeping with its statutory mandate. For us, we unconditionally back the government's caveat to major rice importers in the country, as it is well guarded and timely.

Honestly, we agree with the government that as rice remains the most politically sensitive commodity on the market, no rice importer or anyone must politicize this important sector of our growing economy. In this vein, we join the GoL in also calling all those involved in this unprecedented act that has the inclination to undercut the efforts of the government to discontinue such unjustifiable act.

We want this caveat to claim the attention of all those involved in this needless act at the detriment of the Liberian government and people-the most victims.

To this end, we again call on the doers to stop. Enough is enough!

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