Liberia: Commerce Minister Sounds Caveat

6 September 2020

Commerce and Industry Minister and Chairman of the Covid-19 Household Food Support Program Prof. Wilson K. Tarpeh says government will not relent in taking drastic action against anyone caught stealing the stimulus package food.

Addressing the Ministry of Information's regular Thursday press briefing last week, the Commerce Minister said government can't be struggling to feed its citizens while others find pleasure in stealing the people's food.

Professor Wilson Tarpeh told of journalists at the briefing that his team is being challenged by people who allegedly find pleasure in stealing the food for commercial purposes.

He threatened a serious measure depending on the current probe by the committee on covid-19 Household Food Supply program.

"We can't be trying to help our people and then people are there stealing the food. But we will take the necessary actions against them as soon as the investigation is finalized. This is unacceptable and we will act," he assured the public.

Professor Wilson Tarpeh has expressed the government's willingness to distribute the overdue stimulus package food.

According to Professor Tarpeh, the committee is targeting orphans and vulnerable as well as health workers, considering their role in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

Professor Tarpeh however admitted that some individuals within some households have registered and have not received their supply after their areas have been served.

He further urged them to get at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry where a compliant desk can be utilized by citizens to register their complaints or any problem for redress.

"I have heard all these and witnessed that some people have registered and didn't get food. Some of them didn't believe it, so they never registered when team was around for registration," he said.

"Some came while the distribution was on within their areas. So, just get at the office, go to the complaint desk and register. It will be handled. Don't worry," he continued.

Meanwhile, Minister Tarpeh says he cannot say the distribution will continue for a year or more, but noted that the distribution is ongoing until the target is fully met.

He concluded by saying hunger and difficulties don't know any barrier, calling on Liberians to unite to move the country forward.

He said currently, Liberia spends around 150 to 200 million dollars annually to import rice into the country with India claiming majority of the capital.




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