The newly appointed president of the Liberian Business Association (LIBA), Mr. David K. Sembeh, has assured his colleagues that he will do everything possible to address the challenges and gaps facing the association.
“As we have set ourselves to pursue our agenda for 2017, which includes the launching of LIBA’s five-year strategic plan, the holding of a national retreat, finalizing the MOU with the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), etc., we realized several challenges confronting the progress of LIBA,” said Sembeh.
Making the disclosure recently at a press conference held at his AB Tolbert road office in Paynesville, the new LIBA boss said the organization will remain committed to working with the government, development partners, stakeholders in the public and private sectors, and Liberian owned-businesses in all categories, including those in the Diaspora.
Mr. Sembeh, who previously served as vice president of the association, told newsmen he is assuming the position as new president of LIBA until the first quarter of 2018, at which time LIBA’s Annual National Convention will elect a new leadership.
According to him, he was appointed to the position based on a decision by LIBA’s executive committee, who upheld the provisions in line with the by-Laws and Constitution, specifically section 3, Articles A and C which states that “The Vice President shall, in the absence of the President, preside at all meetings in which the President, by this Constitution, has power to preside…he/she shall succeed the President in case of death, resignation, impeachment or disability to serve.”
He said as president of LIBA, he will continue to develop strategies that will enable the association to implement the mandate given to it as the umbrella organization of all Liberian-owned and operated businesses in the country.
Sembeh explained further that his leadership is in the process of engaging past presidents of the association to work together to better strengthen LIBA.
“I would like to seize this opportunity to acknowledge the immense contributions made to LIBA by the former presidents and their respective leaderships: Dr. Charles Clake, Mrs. Cora Peabody, Mr. Tugbeh Doe, Mr. Samuel Mitchell Jr., and Mr. Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah Sr.,” he added.
Mr. Sembeh also used the occasion to inform the entire LIBA membership, both institutional and individual members, and development partners that the day-to-day affairs of LIBA will be carried out under his leadership with support from other nationally elected officials, including Madam Leelai Kpukuyou, secretary-general, and Mr. Reginald M. Sao, financial secretary.
“By this press conference, we are now formally informing our members, development partners and the general public as well as stakeholders both in public and private sectors that Mr. Kemayah is no longer president of LIBA,” he added.
It can be recalled that since the election of the former President of LIBA as the national chairman of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) in Gbarnga, Bong County a year ago, there continue to be mounting concerns from within and outside the association.
Many viewed Mr. Dee Maxwell Kemayah’s presidency of LIBA while at the same time chairman of MOVEE as a conflict of interest.
“Not only is he serving two variant positions at the same time, his decision is tantamount to exposing the Liberia Business Association to integrity problems, as well as truly endangering the future and survival of the association,” said a member of LIBA.
“In other words, the government with whom LIBA must collaborate in accordance with the Act creating it, may find it difficult for such a collaboration. Partners may even raise eyebrows at the way its leadership is transformed.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Sembeh announced that under his leadership, LIBA will shortly convene a consultative meeting with other institutional members, such as the Federation of Road Transport Union, Liberia Marketing Association, Liberia Petty Traders Union, Liberia National Tailors, Textile, Garment and Allied Workers Union, Furniture and Carpenters Union, Retailers Association of Petroleum Products and Water Producer Association, among others.