The former president of the Liberia Business Association (LIBA), Madam Cora Peabody has blamed foreign dominance in the Liberian economy on government’s idleness to enforce policies it sets to govern the sector.
In her assertions on October 21 at the beginning of a three-day strategic planning workshop for LIBA’s members, Madam Peabody said Liberians in authority create the condition for their compatriots in business to be under foreigner partners.
She explained that she was among three foreign businessmen that applied for a bid with government.
The bid, according to her should have been won with a difference of U$7,000 and one of the foreign businessmen went above her with U$500 to win the bid.
She said while some Liberian entrepreneurs are not up to the task in making business, there are still others who see the private sector as cardinal to the economy and are investing therein.
“Foreigners should not be blamed for their dominance in the Liberian economy but Liberians themselves. Liberians are the ones doing evil to one another, and government should know that there are serious Liberians doing business here and should deal with these serious people,” she said.
She added that government being idle in enforcing and monitoring its own policy guiding businesses has failed to protect businesses exclusively set aside for Liberians.
She recalled that about 30 businesses were set aside by government for Liberians to do without interference by foreigners, but today these businesses have been reduced to only 12 as foreigners are venturing in the sectors.
She concurred with LIBA current president Dee Maxwell Kemayah, that government has always promised to take affirmative action to get Liberians to take over the economy, stressing further that “We should not be looking for affirmative action because we are the citizens of the country to whom the resources belong.”
She, however, emphasized that foreigners cannot be ruled out of Liberian businesses because everyone needs each other to coexist.
“Liberians taking over the economy does not mean foreigners are exempted. What we want is for us to work hand in hand, and not to drive foreigners away. To get goods outside to bring into the country depend on foreigners,” she noted.
Meanwhile, Madam Peabody said if Liberian business entrepreneurs can take over the economy, they need to exhibit all values and ethics associated with making business.
She stressed on the need for business entrepreneurs to respect time in everything they do, noting that “Time is money.”
Her comment came when she realized that the strategic meeting called was scheduled to have commenced at 10:00 A.M commenced at 11 a.m.