The Inquirer (Monrovia)

19 May 2014

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The Management of Premier Milling Company has clarified that there is no shortage of flour on the Liberian Market as it is now ready to double its production capacity.

The company said it was shut down for system upgrade and maintenance for a period of thirty-one days. According to the company's General Manager, Alfred Ouko, the company has increased its production capacity from 2000 bags a day to a little over 3000 bags a day.

The Premier Milling General Manager said the company has expanded its facilities and brought in more manpower to handle their new production capacity.

The company, through Mr. Ouko extended its apology to the general public for the one month closure which might have affected the public but promised that the company is now ready to supply the market without any hindrance.

However, according to a release issued yesterday by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, its investigation revealed that some unscrupulous individuals, citizens and foreign nationals, holding approved Import Permit Declaration, decided to hold on to approved IPDs to create artificial shortage to cause an increase in price on the market.

The Commerce Ministry said its investigation also revealed that some individuals were engaged in creating multiple companies as Liberian owned companies and applying for IPDs, which once approved, held on to those IPDs to sell to the highest buyer.

The ministry said these same individuals, citizens and foreign nationals, use their financial means to fund media attack campaign on the government, by taking to the airwaves and streets to promote their propaganda of flour shortage in order to force the Ministry of Commerce to allow them to import beyond market capacity which would likely put the local industry out of business, causing many Liberians that work there to lose their jobs.

The Ministry said the investigation findings are under review by an in-house legal counsel for further actions.

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