The managements of UCI and SWAT will like to inform the public that the story in the April 17, 2019 edition of the New Democrat newspaper about a "cartel" of rice importers is nothing less than rubbish intended to confuse the general public and create a bewildering environment for the rice business community and the consumers.
The story was based on mare speculations intended to push an agenda for unserious people. We would like to state that the price of a bag of rice is 13 usd/bag, and not 20 usd/bag as reported. Secondly, to own a warehouse at the free port is not a condition for importing rice in the country.
The paper also referred to rice importers as cartel, which is a pure manifestation of a tabloid weaseling for relevance. When President Weah came to power, the first thing he did was to ask the rice importers to reduce the price of rice. That was done without hesitation, regardless the losses the importers underwent.
Storage facilities at the port of Monrovia are leased by the relevant government agency. It is not restricted or reserved for any special person. Whichever company or individual that affords the lease price, is given it.
It is very unfortunate that this paper which was, once, one of the best media organs of this country will go down the drain probably because it slid in the hands of someone who does not care about professional writing, but innuendos that are acrid of yellow journalism, image tainting and blackmailing.