Children Barred From Use of Drugs, Alcohol; LEC Granted Duty Free – Pres. Weah Issues Proclamation, Executive Order 094

As Government enters its second year, it seems the country’s 24th President is fastening his administration on steady grounds towards harnessing national transformation and order. Amid increasing protests by citizens over electricity supplies by the Liberia Electricity Corporation and the increased rate of abuse of substances and drugs, the President has issued an order and a proclamation to remedy the situation. As The Analyst reports, EO-94 exempts the LEC from paying taxes on specified materials and logistics while a Proclamation makes it a crime for anyone or organization to deal in drugs, cigarettes and alcohol with children under 18.

Liberia’s 24th President George Manneh Weah has issued Executive Order 94 exempting the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) from paying duty and General Services Tax (GST) on petroleum products, including GST on special categories of equipment, materials and vehicles used by the LEC in the conduct of its operations.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the Order exempts the LEC paying GST on specific items that include 85.04 transformers, 85.44 wires, 73.08 light poles and electrical wires. Others in this category of GST are 84.26-84.28 specialized vehicles and 87.02-87.04 operational vehicles.

The Executive Order 94 by President Weah recognizes existing imperatives that Government must tackle to give the Liberia Electricity Corporation ample capacity to expand the number of connections to the National Electricity Grid.

During its transition from the use of fossil fuels to hydro power to generate electricity, LEC faces external market forces and risks that increase the cost of operations of the corporation.

The Executive Order notes that some of these costs, which are associated with the purchase, delivery and storage, and use of fossil fuels, particularly Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO), represent a significant expense to LEC, which show investment in the transition to the wider use of Hydro Electronic Power in Liberia.

The Order further states that Customs duties and GST on petroleum products are LEC cost categories that have the potential to adversely impact the monthly expense of the corporation with implication on its expansion program.

In another development, President Weah has issued a Proclamation directing all law enforcement agencies in the country to ensure that children under 18 are not exposed to cigarettes, narcotics, drugs and alcohol.

The Proclamation orders that “No parent or guardian contributes to the delinquency of minors by giving or sending a child to purchase or exposing a child to substance use such as narcotics, cigarettes, drugs and alcohol.

It is further directed by the Presidential Proclamation that a “Person who wishes to enter a shop or shore, drug store, bar, night club and entertainment center, for the purpose of selling, purchasing, giving or exchanging alcohol beverages, drugs and narcotic substance must exhibit a valid identification card confirming he/she is 18 years or above.”

According to the Proclamation, “No child under the age eighteen should consume or purchase narcotics, cigarettes, drugs or alcohol whether for himself/herself or someone else.”

It added: “No person endangers the health of another, intentionally and unscrupulously, by giving or serving, or by causing or permitting to be given or served, to a child under the age of eighteen or to persons already manifestly suffering from excessive consumption, alcoholic beverages or spirituous liquors of such kind or in such quantity as to make their injurious effect a certainty.”

The President issued the Proclamation amid prevalent underage drinking and smoking that has engulfed the society, thus affecting adolescent children and resulting to violent behaviors and other misdemeanors.

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