Delivering her state-of the nation address on January 27, 2014 at the Capitol Building, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf lauded the proprietor of National Toiletry Incorporated (NTI), Mr. Fomba Trawally, for what she termed as his steadfastness and unique entrepreneurial skills.
Mr. Trawally has become renowned as a street vendor who turned US$200 into a multi-million-dollar business venture in the country.
Mr. Trawally’s company Kumba, Bendu & Sons, manufactures paper towels, napkins, toilet paper, diapers, and cleaning products.
The company, which started production a little over a year ago, has 45 employees— 32 of them being women — and it is located in Whein Town, Montserrado County.
Addressing the joint session of the 53rd National Legislature, President Sirleaf called on lawmakers and those in the audience to recognize and appreciate the NTI boss which she referred to as an “enterprising Liberian” for his achievements.
“We applaud another successful Liberian businessman who CNN has recognized as the street vendor who turned US$200 into a potential multi-million-dollar business. His name is Mr. Fomba Trawally, founder and owner of National Toiletries Inc,” the President said.
The Liberian leader also said the Ministry of Commerce is exploring ways to address the growing trade deficit and the difficult situation faced by consumers experiencing the negative consequences of exchange rate depreciation.
The Liberian leader reported the fastest growing sectors are dominated by micro, small and medium-sized businesses located in the service and industrial sectors. These businesses are producing beverages, vegetable oil, flour, plastic products, agricultural goods and cement.
President Sirleaf further explained that efforts are under way to formulate policies and systems that protect consumers from arbitrary price increases and poor quality goods.
She said the government has provided multiple opportunities to bring business to local SMEs, totaling over US$400,000 in the last year.
Madam Sirleaf concluded by revealing measures are underway to impose a one-year transitional period restricting foreigners to wholesaling and providing retailing opportunities for Liberians.