Selective IPD issuance hikes prices of food items on Liberian market

Businesswoman selling eggs

Selective IPD issuance hikes prices of food items on Liberian market PRO POOR MONOPOLY against competition One of the major pillars of the pro-poor governance in Liberia is to provide food items at an affordable price on the Liberian market.

 Unfortunately this pillar is being nibbled by a selective issuance of IPD to importers of food items in the country. Information gathered from many Liberian and foreign frozen food businesses indicate several complaints about the refusal of their IPDs of Onion, chicken eggs, frozen chicken, frozen meat and frozen fish, while it has been observed that 2 complete cargo loads of vessels that just arrived to Monrovia as per APM Terminals schedule (see attached) for one influential entity have been given IPD.

As result of this selective issuance of IPD, frozen foods on the Liberian market have doubled prices because retails sellers are obliged to buy at the price given by the only importer who is getting the IPD.a serious delay tactic for signing ipds is affecting other importers and causing serious demurrage which causes the price to increase desoite the increase of international freight of all commodities that the world faced with due to covid of which government is supposed to encourage serious competition .

“The aim of the pro-poor is to make sure that the people of this country don’t find it difficult to afford their daily meal. We all know that the only way items can be less expensive on the market is to encourage competition amongst the importers. If you have only one person importing an item in the country, you are comparing everyone to buy at the price he or she (the importer) is requesting for the item.” Michael Diah, a retailer, said.

A part from frozen foods, other food items like onion and egg are also getting more expensive by the day due to the same cause of IPD issuance.“The chicken feet I used to buy for 100 LD is now sold at 150 LD on the market. The price of the onion and the egg has doubled.” Margaret Paye, mother of 4 kids, said.

“How do they want us to feed our families when prices are getting unstable and are climbing the ladder every day?” She added.“You can’t have only one person getting IPD for frozen food and other food items and strangulating other thus putting them in huge fees at the port. That is like saying that you want only one importer in the country.

If that is the case how do you get competition on the market? Everyone knows that without competition on the market prices will always go up at the will of the only importer allowed to obtain IPD.” Another importer said.

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