Former immigration commissioner from the Taylor regime John Smythe recommends to the Liberian government to bring in equipment to manufacture rubber materials in the wake of the spread of the coronavuris to address the global demand for PPEs, nose and face masks, ventilators, gloves, buckets and slippers, among others for health workers.
Mr. Smythe said since Liberia is one of the highest producers of rubber for the world market, government should consider importation of equipment to process latex generated by Firestone Rubber Plantation, the Liberia Agriculture Company and local rubber farmers to produce such needed products to export them to countries that are terribly hit by the pandemic.
Speaking on OK FM Tuesday, April 7, in Monrovia he said it won't cost the government much to import equipment and bring professionals to start producing materials in the soonest possible time.
Mr. Smythe noted that currently, Firestone-Liberia is not exporting latex because of the spread of the COVID-19 so sales have drastically slumped.
He argued the best offer the Liberian government can give the world during this pandemic is to use the available rubber latex to produce plastic materials to combat the virus, from which the country could make a comeback economically.
According to him, since 1976 when Liberia's Growth Domestic Product (GDP) came next to Japan, but later dropped in 1980 as a result of the coup d'état, turning latex into finished products could serve as a conduit for a country facing serious economic struggle to regain its status and respect. By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor