New Commerce Minister Tours Rice Warehouses at Freeport

(L-R: Asst. Min. Somah, SWAT’s George Nehme, Min. Diggs and IG Davis
(L-R: Asst. Min. Somah, SWAT’s George Nehme, Min. Diggs and IG Davis
Photo Credit: Public Affairs-MoCI

Wednesday, November 18, 2020: Press Release:

 

Commerce and Industry Minister, Mawine G. Diggs, has assured the public of the constant availability of essential commodities on the Liberian market.

Madam Diggs said she would also ensure that such essential commodities are equally affordable to the Liberian people.

She said such idea will be supported through collaboration with all stakeholders in the business sector of Liberia.

 

Madam Diggs made the statement at the Freeport of Monrovia on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, at the end of day one of a two-day assessment tour of several importer warehouses at the port. The toured Importers include Fouani Brothers Corporation, United Commodities Incorporated and Supplying West Africa Traders (SWAT).

Minister Diggs also made brief stop overs to APM Terminals,  where she held discussions with commerce inspectors at the Freeport of Monrovia, who also briefed her about  challenges being experienced.

Addressing the press at the close of day one of the exercise, Minister Diggs, said prior to the tour, she held meetings with all the major importers.

“During the meetings I promised the importers that I would come out to see their operations and that we would make sure that essential commodities that our people consume are available in enough stock.” she said.

 

Speaking further, Minister Diggs noted that the tour afforded her the opportunity to have an idea on the buffer stock of Liberia’s major rice importers.

She also expressed satisfaction about storage facilities at the Freeport of Monrovia and for the employment of Liberians by rice importers.

“We see that they have invested in hiring Liberians as we have from 350 to 500 employees at each of these various centers.” Madam Diggs added.

She called on Liberians to exercise patience as the Ministry of Commerce and Industry works along with relevant stakeholders to stabilize the prices of essential items on the local market.

 

Minster Diggs was accompanied to the Freeport of Monrovia by Assistant Commerce Minister for Trade Services, Mr. Peter D. Somah, Commerce Inspector General, Madam Josephine W.A. Davis, customer service officials and inspectors.

The assessment tour, the first of its kind since officially taking over as Liberia’s Minister of Commerce and Industry on the 14th of October 2020, has been concluded on Thursday, November 19, 2020, after Minister Diggs and team toured the rice ware houses of K and K, and Fouta Corporation at the Freeport of Monrovia.

 

 She was appointed to the position of Minister of Commerce and Industry of Liberia on October 1, 2020, by Liberia’s Chief Executive, Dr. George M. Weah, and subsequently commissioned.

Meanwhile speaking earlier, the Managing Director of UCI, Wahab Dhaini, said his company has 6,000 metric tons of rice already in storage, 4000 metric tons at the port awaiting offloading, while 19,000 metric tons are expected in country by December this year.

 

For his part, Fouani Brothers’ Operations Manager, James Dixon disclosed that his entity has 2.1 million bags rice in storage, with additional quantity expected in Liberia shortly.

At the same time, the Chief Executive Officer of SWAT, George Nehme, told the Commerce Ministry team that his company currently has 700,000 bags of rice in storage, 22,000 metric tons being off loaded, while 35,000 metric tons are expected in Liberia by mid-December, 2020.

 

Jacob N.B. Parley

Communications Director

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Emails: jacobtheancestor@yahoo.com/jparley@staff.moci.gov.lr

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