MONROVIA – The former President of the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC), Reverent Kortu Brown, is advising President George Manneh Weah to shake up the cabinet, especially government agencies responsible for the messy rice crisis.
“Government regulators are inept and insensitive to the plight of ordinary people. We have two critical and unresolved concerns: There is either rice shortage or no rice shortage in the country. If there is no rice shortage, why is the commodity not available on the market? It’s either being withheld by importers or hoarded by dealers,” Rev. Brown stated.
The outspoken Liberian cleric who made the assertions yesterday noted however that the regulators including the Ministry of Commerce are unable to adequately address the concerns of importers and consumers, hence, are contributing to the embarrassment of the country.
“Earlier this year, when I served as President of the LCC, we approached the government through the Ministries of State, Commerce and the National Port authority. However, our concerns on reported rice shortages about eight months ago were rebuffed by the National Port Authority and the Ministry of Commerce. In fact, the Minister of Commerce refused to meet with the leadership of the Council at the time despite the intervention of the Minister of State,” Rev. Brown stated, adding, “it’s time for the President to take side with the Liberian people. Shake up the regulators. Show them the exit door. And restore the people’s confidence in the government.”
It can be recalled that President Weah, upon returning from his recent UNGA foray in the United States remarked that there is no rice shortage in the country. But a few days after President Weah’s statement, the rice crisis seems to be getting out of hand.
A cup of the rice that was sold a week ago for LD40-50 is now sold for LD80-100, while a bag of 25kg rice which was sold at LD2350 is now sold for LD4500, if one can find it.
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