Commerce Minister, Wilson Tarpeh Challenged Liberian Petty Traders

Commerce Minister Wilson K. Tarpeh

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry Professor Wilson K. Tarpeh has challenged Liberian petty traders to realize that they have the potential to transform their own lives through constructive business activities.

A release said Professor Tarpeh however, urged them not to engage in unlawful business practices that could undermine the Liberian government’s efforts to raise the needed revenue to move the country ahead in the area of development.

The Commerce and Industry Minister made the call Wednesday during a brief discussion with some Liberian petty traders.

The petty traders, predominately women, went to the Ministry to regularize their businesses after being closed down this week for not registering with government.

After acknowledging that they were in error for not registering their respective businesses, Professor Tarpeh called on the Inspectorate at the Commerce Ministry to waive the fines imposed on them, but cautioned them not to repeat same.

Businesses in such category are to register with L$2,500 which is less than $20 United States Dollars based on the prevailing exchange rate in Liberia.

Professor Tarpeh admonished the petty traders to realize that the administration of President George Manneh Weah remains committed to making Liberians active participants in their own economy, rather than spectators.

He also called on them to desist from practices that could undermine the CDC-led government’s determination to help Liberians, irrespective of any status and location take over their own economy.

“The President wants all of you to succeed and this is why efforts are being made since the birth of his leadership to make you key actors in the Liberian economy,” the Commerce Minister told the group of petty traders.

Speaking further, Minister Tarpeh made reference to the US$3 million loan program recently provided by government for small Liberian-owned business across the country.

The petty traders, including tailors were booked as a result of the ongoing month-long nationwide inspection by the Inspectorate Division at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

The ongoing exercise is led by the Inspector General at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Madam Josephine Davies.

The inspection is focusing on business registration; Investment Act Enforcement, price-tagging of commodity and goods; foreign language and label, as well as standard related issues on several sectors. The sectors include rice, flour, starches, dairy products and frozen food.

The essence of the exercise is to provide protection for consumers and ensure continuous compliance with applicable laws, procedures and standards.

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