13 February 2014

Liberia: A Challenge to Government


There is an urgent need for the Government of Liberia (GoL) through its relevant ministries and agencies to address the growing wave of thievery in the country, particularly in Monrovia and its environs.

We have and continue to observe that the marketing of stolen phones and other electronic devices on two of Monrovia key streets has turned out to be major occupation for dozens of young people.

According to our observation, many of these young people, with absolutely no basic training or education that would set the basic for gainful employment opportunity either in government or private sector, have chosen the trade as a career or lifetime employment.

With no regard for government security personnel, the young traders, we further observe, continue to openly market their phones as if their action was sanctioned by the GoL. They, without fear, buy stolen phones from phones' snatchers and sell them to individual buyer during broad daylight.

In some instances, the so-called phone sellers and snatchers engage in heavy street fight, obstruct traffic thereby causing embarrassment for business people, pedestrians, moving vehicles and offices.

Sometimes, the action of the young, but unskilled phone snatchers and sellers, in many cases, is carried out in the presence of law enforcement officers, including personnel of the Liberia National Police(LNP).

Not only that the action of the cell phone sellers and snatchers had and continue to cause embarrassment to people and paralyze street movement, it has also created problems for cell phones' carriers who are often troubled by the deviant behavior of the cash driven but unprofessional young traders.

Forthrightly, it is becoming increasingly expedient that the GOL take every necessary action to address this situation which is very much an embarrassment to business houses, offices, pedestrians and residents of the areas.

Against this backdrop, we recommend that the GoL via its relevant ministries and agencies enhance its empowerment program for the youth through skill development, training and employment opportunity.

With enhanced empowerment program for the youth, we believe, this will give the young traders the opportunity to make advancement in life and do away with the illegal and unwarranted street business, which had and continue to cause much trouble not only for dwellers of the affected streets, but offices, business houses, pedestrians as well as moving vehicles.


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