The Minister of Commerce and Industry (MOCI), Axel M. Addy, has disclosed that 80 percent of Liberia’s resources is directed at importing goods, despite the low population of the country, amounting to just four million people.
Minister Addy made the assertion over the weekend during the official disclosure of the US$231,000 weaving center in Lofa County, which is expected to benefit hundreds of people in and out of the county.
“We are a very small country of four million people and spend 80 percent of our resources importing things that we consume, wear, and we use. Those are much-needed resources that we can use and empower our people through adjusting our consumption behavior,” Minister Addy said.
He further expatiated that the ministry is also working with other institutions, including Ministry of Finance and Development (MFDP), Public Procurement Concession and Commission (PPCC) and the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) to ensure that those constraints encountered by SME in accessing public procurement opportunities are addressed, so that we can build Liberia, based on creating an enabling environment for the private sector.
“We may take for granted how little it means for us to spent US$10, or above on that “country cloth” but it’s not for granted. It’s important for those hundred of women who weaved that cloth, hundred of tailors who also prepared your clothes and the hundred of designers who designed your clothes and market the product as well as sell than in the various stores,” he stressed.
Minister Addy noted that having hundreds of people spending on Liberian made product would also help in empowering Liberian, creating multi-million dollars industry and reducing importation of goods and others.
He further mentioned that Liberia is in its stage of transformation, considering the reduction of prices in major commodities on the world market, including rubber and iron ore.
“This doesn’t require a donor program or tax program, and by doing so, we are putting money in the hands of our people. This is s test and this while the process took a long time and there is so much for this process to be realize and not only empowering the women. We need to adjust our consumption as a government. With the resources Liberia has, we have to rely on ourselves to transform our country and start with us as individual on how we spend our resources, he cautioned Liberian.
According to him, the ministry is concluding with the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA) to take over the top floor of the Nancy Doe Market to create Liberia’s first trade fair, where Small, Medium and Entrepreneur will showcase the product, because we need to build Liberia.