By: Varney M. Kamara |
Josephine Davies, Liberia’s Inspector General of Commerce and Industry, has outlined major breakthrough the Ministry of Commerce has achieved in the past four months.
Under the CDC (Coalition for Democratic Change) government, IG Davies said the inspectorate unit of the MOCI has embarked on a wide ranging inspection exercise across seven of Liberia’s 15 political sub-divisions.
Across the seven counties, which include Nimba, Bong, Margibi, Grand Gedeh, Grand Bassa, Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, and Montserrado, IG Davies disclosed to The Liberian Network & GNN Liberia that commerce inspectors have embarked upon vigorous inspection aimed at tracking down illegal business operatives in the country, including ensuring compliance of the Liberian business law and other trade regulations.
As part of the inspectorate division’s achievements in recent months, IG Davies named the Founi Brothers Corporation, Abi Joaudi, Azar Trading Company, the Three Stars Business Center, Exclusive Supermarket Branch 44-3, Monoprix Supermarket, amongst others, as businesses that were fined for breaching the country’s business regulations, collecting from the defaulting businesses nearly US$ 70,000(Seventy Thousand United States Dollars) as revenue for the government.
“Right now, we have our inspectors in seven counties, and some of them are carrying out inspection of businesses in Margibi, Nimba, Bong, Montserrado, Grand Gedeh, Cape Mount and Grand Bassa,” IG Davies revealed to the ‘Liberian Network and GNN Liberia’ in an exclusive interview Friday in Monrovia.
The exuberant Inspector General also informed the press that the MOCI’s inspectorate division has already carried out a couple of inspections of businesses across Montserrado and has also imposed fines on some businesses that are not in compliance with the country’s businesses regulations.
“I can tell you for sure that we have carried out a couple of inspections out there, and you will be surprised to know that most of the businesses that are not in compliance with business regulations are Liberian owned businesses. Most of the non-compliant Liberian businesses are petit traders. They have to struggle to survive because they take goods from Lebanese merchants to sell before they can make profit. In many instances, we have realized that they’re really catching hard time for their businesses to grow. We found out that 40% of businesses that are not in compliance of the business regulations are Liberian owned while 60% businesses that are complying with MOCI’s trade regulations are foreign owned.”
However, in spite of the steady progress the inspectorate division has made, IG Davies acknowledged and underscored existing challenging facing the MOCI’s inspection units across the country, which include limited resources(finance), lack of manpower, capacity, and logistics for field operation.
“Right now, we cannot move beyond the seven counties because we are faced with series of problems including limited resources, lack of logistics (vehicles and motorbikes for field operation), limited manpower, and low yield capacity. As a result of these problems, we intend to deal with the seven counties for now until we can see how best things can improve,” IG Davies said.