According to Assistant Minister for Trade Services at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI), Daniel Dean, there is no smuggling of rice, petroleum and cement from Ganta in Nimba County into Guinea as was reported on radio recently.
Minister Dean made the assertion on Tuesday during a one-day visit by a team of MOCI officials, including Assistant Minister for Industry Mohammed Turay and Mrs. Rita Reeves of the MOCI’s Public Affairs department, to two border posts in Nimba.
According to Minister Dean, their visit to Nimba County was to authenticate the report about ongoing smuggling activities at the Ganta border.
There have been concerted efforts by commerce and border inspectors to ensure that no smuggling activities are carried out, Minister Dean assured.
“We have authenticated the information coming from the county, which is false and misleading. We observed that the MOCI inspectors and other border security apparatuses are working very hard to stop essential commodities from crossing over to Guinea, including rice, petroleum and cement,” the Minister said.
However, Nimba County Chief Inspector of MOCI, Gonlee Mambia, was apparently not as confident given the interruptions to their monitoring by cultural activities in the area.
“There are times when county inspectors and the public are asked to remain indoors when they put their ‘country devils’ out during the day and in the night.
“We have over 26 entering points in Nimba County and all our inspectors remain unbending in enforcing the Ministry’s mandate,” said Mambia.
But he called for better coordination with authorities to ensure that there is no conflict of interest when it comes to securing the border.
“This is necessary because we have talked with the local authorities but still we continue to experience the situation,” Inspector Mambia told the MOCI team apparently referring to traditional activities which could interfere with their monitoring of the border points.
Mambia thanked the Ministry for the newly assigned motorbike, which will help to improve some of their logistical needs and called on MOCI authorities to continue the support given them at the border.
During the MOCI’s visit to the Guinean authorities, Minister Dean said that the lifeline of any country is trade and praised Guinean officials for the level of collaboration that continues to promote peaceful trade between the countries.
“We want to applaud you for the cooperation given to our business people and Liberia security which demonstrates good leadership ability and commitment to fostering peace. We also want to assure you that Liberia will continue to work in maintaining peace and security,” Minister Dean told the Guineans.
The Commerce official recounted Liberia and Guinea’s relationship that goes far beyond the current generation, stating “both countries are ready to maintain our forefathers’ relationship for future generations as well.”
Minister Dean said he was delighted to see a cordial working relationship between Liberian and Guinean authorities at the border, which facilitates trade in an unhindered manner and also provides security for both countries.