The New Dawn (Monrovia)

18 August 2014

Liberia: Regional Commerce Ministry Office Warns Traders

Gbarnga — The regional office of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Gbarnga, Bong County has strongly blasted business entities and traders taking advantage of the current Ebola situation to increase the prices of basic commodities.

Since the declaration of the State of Emergency by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, prices of major commodities on the Liberian market have escalated. Mr. John Kuoh, the regional coordinator of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry named some of the essential commodities, whose prices were increased as building materials, as well as foodstuffs, among others.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry regional coordinator, in an interview with our Bong County correspondent, warned unscrupulous business people to desist from such unwholesome business practice because of the Ebola situation, describing their attitude as absolutely unacceptable.

He did not name, business entities and traders involved in such unscrupulous trade in Bong County. He said the government was prepared to prosecute those exploiting the Liberian population, stressing that a general inspection team was being dispatched in the field to ascertain the prices of goods and bring violators to book.

Bong Rep. discounts 'cash' distribution for Ebola

The House's Co-Chairman on Ways, Means, Finance and the budget, Representative Prince KarmueMoye of Bong County has described as 'mere rumor', information that each member of the Legislator received two thousand US Dollars to raise awareness on the current Ebola epidemic in the country.

Rep. Moye, also Bong County Electoral District #2 Lawmaker, said at present the government was yet to pay Legislators and employees since July due to the current emergency situation. Rep. Moye said the nation was faced with a huge financial burden, noting that the government was focused on soliciting extra funds to combat the virus that has killed more than 300 persons in Liberia alone.

He was speaking at an awareness meeting in Palala, Kpaai District organized by Representative TokpaMulbah, who also admonished citizens to appreciate Legislators who are creating awareness despite the current financial condition in the country.

During a talk show on one of the local radio stations in Gbarnga recently, it was reported that the Legislature had distributed two thousand US Dollars to each Legislator to create awareness on the Ebola virus in their respective constituencies-something the Legislators have rubbished.

Power Company risks lawsuit in Gbarnga

The company contracted to electrify the city of Gbarnga risks being dragged to court if it refuses to live up to the contract it has with the authorities in Bong County. According to Bong County Assistant Superintendent for Development, Anthony Sheriff, a letter has been written to Geontia Liberia Limited informing it of the need to implement its part of the agreement.

Mr. Sheriff speaking to our Bong County correspondent recently at his Gbarnga Administration Building office said the county signed a five-year contract with Geontia Liberia-Limited to provide electricity to the city of Gbarnga. In the agreement, Geontia Liberia Limited is to invest about 135 thousand and Bong County while Bong County has already paid 28 thousand US Dollars towards the project.

He explained that after four months of operations, the company abandoned the project, citing lack of light poles, transformers and limited customers. Mr. Sheriff has termed the company's action as an embarrassment and has assured Bongese of the authority's stance to bring the company to book.

The Bong County Assistant Superintendent for Development said all measures have been instituted to seek a lawsuit if the company does not respond to its obligation in the soonest period. Mr. Sheriff disclosed that the county authorities were able to negotiate for light poles from the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), but the company is yet to transport the poles to the county

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