President Weah’s Request to Rice Importers For Price Reduction Gains Result, As Fouta Corporation Takes The Lead

President Weah with members of the Rice Importer Association of Liberia

Recent President George Weah’s meeting with rice importers in the country with a call to reduce the price of the commodity which is also the stable food of Liberia, one of the importers, Fouta Corporation has with immediate effect ordered all of its warehouses around the Country to effect the change by taken up US$2.00 for 25kg bag and US$4.00 50kg bag.

Rice the stable food of Liberia has always been the concern of consumers as the high price of the commodity  at most time created mixed feelings of Liberians; the 25kg was sold at US$18 to US20.00 while the 50kg was being sold at US$45 to US450.00, some Liberians who could not afford to purchase a bag of the commodity were compelled to purchase by cup.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with the GNN today, February 3, 2018, the Chief Executive Officer of Fouta Corporation, one of Liberia’s leading rice importers, Mr. Mohamed Sow said he has ordered his staff around the Country to with immediate effect carry out the mandate given by the Liberian leader to reduce the price of rice in the Country in order for the stable food to be available to all Liberians.

Mr. Sow said the request by the Liberian leader to call on importers of rice in the Country to reduce the price of the commodity should be welcomed by all businesses, especially those in the sector, noting, “This President is a true leader, his concern for the people of this nation must be appreciated; reducing the price of the Country’s stable food (Rice) must be lauded,” Mr. Sow told GNN at his Bushrod Islands office.

However, President George Manneh Weah has acknowledged the favorable response of rice importers to his request for reduction in the price of the nation’s staple food. The rice importers have reduced the price of a 25kg bag by two United States Dollars while the price of a 50kg bag is reduced by US$4.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the welcoming news comes as a result of increased pressure on rice importers by President Weah who believes it is intolerable for the price of the national staple, to continue to increase amidst the high cost of living in the country.

President Weah and officials of the rice Importers Association, for the second day running, met Friday, February 2, 2018, to continue negotiations on the reduction of the price of rice. The discussions started Thursday, February 1, at which time the Liberian leader promised to do everything possible to ensure that the rice market price was reduced.

On Thursday, the President said: “If government-imposed tax is an issue, you can rest assured that my government is more than ready to grant reasonable adjustments in the tax regime to make the reduction of rice price possible.”

During the Friday meeting with rice importers, President Weah reiterated his determination to ensure that something was immediately done to reduce the price of the rice and make it affordable and available to average Liberians.

At the end of the negotiations, officials of the Association of Liberian Rice Importers consented to effect a reduction of the price. The Association of Rice Importers headed by their Chairman, John Bestman, agreed to reduce the price of the 25Kg bag of rice by US $2.00 while the price of 50kg bag of rice will be reduced by US $4.00 with immediate effect.

The meeting was attended by Hon. Nathaniel Falo McGill, Minister of State, Hon. Samuel Tweah, Prof. Wilson K. Tarpeh, Minister of Commerce designate, Minister of Finance, Hon. Eugene Nagbe, Minister of Information, and Hon. Archie Bernard, Legal Advisor to the President.

President Weah has earlier proposed a reduction of US$3.00 but due to some constraints proffered by rice moguls, it was agreed that the US$3 reduction from the cost of a 25kg bag of rice would not be possible immediately, but that it could still be possible in the future once a few challenges facing the rice market were addressed and the modalities worked out.

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About Cholo Brooks 14468 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.