Liberia: Sidani Bassim Not in Monopoly

The National Civil Society Network of Liberia (NCSNL) refutes claims here that the Government of Liberia dubiously gave monopoly right to the CEO of Aya Groups Inc, Mr. Sidani Bassim in the cocoa industry, describing such information as false and misleading.

The NCSNL says the Aya Group Inc, is benefiting from the current cocoa market because of his compliance with government's requirements for such market, including license to operate.

It notes that meeting all necessary requirements as a business entity is an important step to contributing to government revenue, particularly, amid the current economic downturn faced by the country.

According to the Network, Mr. Bassim's contribution to the government through revenue payment is an indication that he has no intention to be a part of any ploy to deny the over 30,000 smallholder cocoa farmers here the opportunity to continue planting and production of cocoa, which they depend on to keep their families afloat under the current economic stress.

It points out that Liberia has over 10 exporters in the industry besides the Aya Group Inc, which gives out about US$1.5 million yearly to farmers, something, it notes, has earned Mr. Bassim about 70 percent of the local cocoa market.

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