Monrovia — The Patriotic Entrepreneurs of Liberia (PATEL) has disassociated itself from groups calling for the exit of Global Tracking and Maritime Solution (GTMS) from Liberia.
Recently, officials of the Liberia Business Association (LIBA), the Brokers Union of Liberia and several individuals claiming to be officials of PATEL, at a joint press conference said there was a need to cancel or revisit the agreement signed with GTMS because it, along with APM Terminals BIVAC and the shipping lines are charging excessive fees from Liberian importers.
However, at a press conference on Thursday, Presley S Tenwah who claimed to be the founder and legitimate Chairman of PATEL said that those claiming to be officials of the group are impersonating and should not be recognized.
"It has come to the attention of this noble institution that there are some intruders and misguided individuals who are impersonating as PATEL in the corridors of the Liberian Business community," Tenwah said.
"PATEL wants to publicly distance itself from all LIBA previous and current press releases until otherwise. PATEL is an institution that works with responsible trade and economic development organizations within the Liberian business community and shall continue to do so."
Tenwah said those impersonating as officials of PATEL are not even members of the organization, and any statement from PATEL will be issued by its legitimate heads.
On the economic front, Tenwah mentioned that PATEL is working with the National Port Authority (NPA) to address the challenges people encounter in clearing and shipping goods to Liberia. We have highlighted the issue of the CTN which legitimize the operation of BIVAC, PSI and our migration to Destination Inspection (DI).
Also speaking, the PATEL National Chairman has lauded President George Weah for his appointment as Secretary of the committee to produce and distribute one million locally made masks throughout Liberia.
The mask project was launched at the Ministry of Health by a Committee headed by Internal Affairs Minister, Varney Sirleaf, along with Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah and Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee. The contract was awarded to the National Tailor Union of Liberia, and umbrella organization of PATEL.
The compulsory wearing of masks in public places, Tenwah said, is part of the government's strategy geared toward reopening the economy, while the decongestion strategy, market taskforce and other health protocols remain active and enforce through the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA), Ministries of Health and Justice, National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) and PATEL.
The mass production and distribution of masks, he added, will help to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission and called on the marketers to wear masks and adhere to all of the health protocols.
"We encourage all marketers to practice regular hand washing, wearing of nose mask and disinfecting their tables, desks, chairs, doorknobs and other surrounding objects daily."
Speaking further he said, as the country anticipates the total reopening of our economy, "we are kindly soliciting our members, partners, affiliating organizations and the entire business community to support this strategy to fight against the deadly COVID-19 which is mainly spread through respiratory droplets when someone coughs, sneeze or speaks."
Formed on August 9, 2016, PATEL has been advocating for good economic condition of all Liberians, including the call for exclusive retail rights for Liberian owned businesses and the decrease in interest rate on bank loans, among others.
It is made of Liberian small businesses and entrepreneurs group envision to promote economic self-reliance, capacity development, trade, and general advocacy for the business community.