The general manager of Masarco Auto Services, Inc., Mr. Saah F. Johnson, has frowned on the Government of Liberia’s decision to ban motorcyclists from plying the principal streets of Monrovia.
Johnson claimed that, until the ban sometime last year, his Masarco was the biggest motorcycle dealer in Liberia.
In an exclusive interview, Johnson told the Daily Observer that the government’s ban against commercial motorcyclists on the main streets of Monrovia has seriously affected many citizens, including students and young people who use the services to make ends meet.
According to him, the purchase of motorcycle in Central Monrovia has “completely” come to a halt, thereby seriously affecting his business and that of other dealers.
Despite the ban, Johnson said, government was still requiring motorcycle sales companies and dealers to pay taxes, when they are not generating enough revenue to adequately meet up with taxes.
He stated that since last December, it takes days before someone walks in to inquire about a bike, unlike the beginning and toward the middle of 2013, when he saw many people coming in to his store every day to purchase bikes.
He indicated that salesmen were finding it difficult to respond to tax demands from the Ministry of Finance.
He said the industry has tried to meet with authorities of the Ministry of Transport, who told representatives that the police decision was embraced by other ministries and agencies, including the Ministry of Justice.
Johnson, however, called upon the Government of Liberia to lift the ban so that business can smoothly flow again, thereby making him able to meet up with his tax obligation to government.
“I will be forced to let some of my employees go due to the constraints of slow business if things remain difficult for us as importers and dealers in the country,” he concluded.