Senate Votes To Establish National Rubber Board -As Executive Order 124 Remains

By: Anthony Q. Jiffan, Jr.

MONROVIA: The plenary of the Liberian Senate has voted on a decision to establish a National Rubber Board to ensure an equitable determination of monthly price of rubber, while Executive Order 124 prohibiting exportation of unprocessed rubber from Liberia remains enforced.

The decision taken Thursday, May 23, 2024, in session through a “yah and nay” vote followed a lengthy debate of the Senate’s Joint Committee on Agriculture and Judiciary report, which provided several recommendations, including the establishment of the Board.

It can be recalled that Grand Kru County Senator Albert Chie filed a complaint with the plenary, craving the lifting of the ban on unprocessed rubber from the country.

Senator Chie’s action to write the plenary was triggered by issues raised by local rubber farmers in the country, accusing the Liberia Agricultural Company, Jetty Rubber Liberia, Limited and Firestone Rubber Plantation of strangulating their activities and preventing competition.

In his descending opinion, Senator Albert Chie reiterated that the Liberia Agricultural Company, Jetty Rubber Liberia, Limited and Firestone Rubber Plantation have added no extra values to the rubber sector since their operations in the country.

According to him, those big companies have prevented the progress of the local farmers, despite the lack of impact to the rubber industry by the so-called big companies especially Firestone Rubber Plantation.

He stressed the importance for the National Legislature to collaborate with the Executive Branch of Government to lift the moratorium on the exportation of unprocessed rubber, noting that the decision will give opportunity to the local rubber famers to equally export their unprocessed rubber from the country.

Senator Chie urged the plenary not to grant any opportunity to these three top companies by keeping the ban on unprocessed rubber, stressing that all the companies do is to take advantage of the local farmers while no value is added to the sector.

The Grand Kru County Senator emphasized that until the Liberia Agriculture Company, Jetty and Firestone Companies respectively can begin the production of some products in the country, the Liberian Government should find the need to open competition in the sector.

However, during the Thursday debate on the floor, the Senate Chair on Agriculture, Senator Wellington Geevon-Smith disclosed that it was established that the local farmers have been involved into theft on the market.

According to the River Cess County Senator, the committee’s investigation among other things further uncovered that the small rubber famers are equally generating funds from the sector, but they fail to remit to government revenue to grow the country’s local economy.

Hence, Senator Smith said the Board when established; its membership will be drawn from all key players in the rubber sector.

As part of the recommendation, the Committee Chair noted that the Liberian Government should certainly encourage the rubber factory owners to operate at their full potential and put the country on path with regional standards.

He indicated that the Liberian Legislature should pass a law on the control of unprocessed rubber from the country and maintain the Executive Order 124 prohibiting the exportation of unprocessed rubber until said law is put in place.

Also speaking, Senator Gbehzohngar Findley refuted the claims made by Senator Albert Chie that the three companies are not adding any value, stressing that those companies immensely contribute to the economy of Liberia.

He cautioned his legislative colleagues to get off their sentiments in discussing the real issues, noting that contrary to Senator Chie and others’ assertions, the local farmers do not pay a dime to government revenue despite the cash and workforce they get daily.

The Grand Bassa County Senator also indicated that LAC, Jetty and Firestone provide thousands of job opportunities for the citizens, urging Senator Chie and the full plenary to adopt the recommendation contained in the report submitted by the Senate Committee on Agriculture.

At the same time, Montserrado County Senator, Abraham Darius Dillon swiftly clarified that his position on the debate is about the Liberian people and not due to his political link to the Rescue Mission of the Unity Party Government.

Senator Dillon recounted that the Executive Order 124 placing moratorium on unprocessed rubber from the country was passed by former President George Manneh Weah.

He added that the same concrete reasons that led to that executive decision still persist within the rubber sector, stressing that the lifting of the ban as will worsen the already existing problems.

Senator Dillon who chairs the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs expressed his firm position and optimism that the recommendation of the Joint Committee on Judiciary and Agriculture will be endorsed by the plenary due to its factual analysis provided.

Meanwhile, following a long debate on the floor, the plenary of the Liberian Senate finally endorsed the committee’s report but with an amendment that a specialized committee be tasked to draft an Act establishing the regulatory board in the period of one month.

The decision was triggered by a motion made from Montserrado County Senator, Saah Hardy Joseph and seconded by Senator Abraham Darius Dillon.

1 Comment
  1. 먹튀감정사 says

    [토토사이트] 불법 먹튀 사이트를 차단하고 안전한 온라인 도박 환경을 조성하세요! 먹튀 사이트 차단 방법, 검증된 사이트 목록, 안전놀이터 추천 등을 제공합니다.

Comments are closed.