Commerce Not At War With Ureys

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(From left) DMA Bangura and DMC Wisner

-Acting Minister Sets Records Straight

The Deputy Minister for Commerce and Trade Services at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, A.E. Nyema Wisner, has strongly rejected speculations that the recent closure of Fuzion Bar and Restaurant in Sinkor, Monrovia was an attempt to get at the Urey Family.

Contrary to the wide social media speculations, Mr. Wisner said, Fuzion Bar and Restaurant was shut down by the Commerce Ministry’s Inspectorate for refusing entry to a team from the Ministry that was undertaking an inspection of business entities in Monrovia.

The Acting Commerce Minister noted that when it comes to executing its statutory mandate, including the inspection of business entities throughout Liberia, the Ministry does not see anybody as being above the law and vowed that the Commerce Ministry will remain vigilant in doing its work.

Mr. Wisner, addressing a press conference at the Commerce Ministry on Tuesday, September 17, 2019, called on Liberians to desist from politicizing the work of the Commerce Ministry, particularly the ongoing inspection.

He also admonished the public to realize that the Commerce Ministry is not at war with the Urey Family, but simply trying to enforce its statutory mandate, regarding a conducive business climate for Liberia through practices that meet international best practices.

He said the US$3,000 (three thousand United States Dollars) fine imposed on Fuzion Bar and Restaurant was not illegal, but strictly in accordance with the law.

A Commerce Ministry release quotes Mr. Wisner as saying that fines are levied by the Ministry on the basis of business category.

The release named the various categories as US $200.00 for small businesses, US $700.00 for medium entities and US $3,000.00 for big ones.

‘’We imposed the fine since September 4, 2019 and even gave a 72-hour ultimatum for them to comply,” the Acting Commerce Minister added.

He said the Commerce Ministry re-opened the business after the 24-hour time the law allows the Ministry to keep a business shut down for had expired and that the legal team from Fuzion Bar and Restaurant made an appeal to the Ministry for some reduction in the imposed fine.

It can be recalled that Inspectors from the Ministry, led by Commerce Inspector General, Josephine Davies, were   prevented from entering Fuzion Bar and Restaurant on August 28, 2019 while undertaking a nationwide inspection of business houses across Monrovia.

“During the same exercise,” Wisner added, “the Commerce Ministry inspected other businesses within the same vicinity, including Royal Grand Hotel, Boulevard Hotel and Sajj House, an indication the Third Quarterly Inspection was not directed at Fuzion Bar and Restaurant or members of the Urey family, as is widely insinuated on the social media.

“The ongoing inspection was preceded by a week-long public service announcement in August 2019, outlining details of the exercise, including protection of consumers and continuous compliance with standard regulations, amongst others,” he concluded.

5 COMMENTS

  1. This statement is revealing: “The release named the various categories as US $200.00 for small businesses, US $700.00 for medium entities and US $3,000.00 for big ones.” Fuzion Bar and Restaurant is definitely not a big business and the Minister knows that. Even by Liberian standard, a large business would have hundreds of employees if not more and millions of dollars in revenue. Does Fuzion Bar and Restaurant meet that definition? It doesn’t so it’s a small or medium business. This action by the MoC was politically motivated and that’s wrong. The Ministry should not use politics in doing its job.

    • No matter how the ministry of commerce try to twist things around it is very obvious with no doubt the urey’s family business was targeted, and the so call inspector general at the commerce ministry which I believe is a member of the CDC party took upon her self to personally create a stand of on the urey’s business, everything she did was premeditated, she went there with the intention of illegally closing the business , even if they were giving full access to inspect the business from the start they would have still created other reason to fine and close that business down , that was thier plan , if the so called inspector is trying to make a name for her self she should start properly inspecting the germs infected markets in and around the country including side walk pharmacies that are selling expired drugs to the general public , this was a political motivated witch hunt on the urey’s, unfortunately the so call inspector is so incompetent that she doesn’t c the bigger picture of the whole scenario, they are not hurting the urey’s they are hurting those 60 employees employ by the urey’s, the urey’s are stable financially with or with out that business, therefore the weah led government should stop pissing on the Liberian population feet and telling them it’s rain ,

  2. Okay. Let us all agree that the Ministry of Commerce has no vendetta against the Ureys or any business organization anywhere in the country. The Ministry of Commerce is expected to be fair and equitable! What remains to be talked about is the unhealthy condition of Liberian vendors or marketers who sell various types of uninspected foods in the streets of Monrovia and its greater areas.

    Let’s take a look
    1. The Douala market expands in the street. The main road that goes through Douala into Brewerville is clogged with business man and women who sell seafood that’s not too fresh. The green flies that carry germs sit on foods in that area.
    Where is the Commerce Ministry? And

    2. The airport junction area is infested with unsafe foods. That includes all of the big market houses in and around Monrovia. You can see rodents trying their level best to catch a piece of the pie. Perishable foods are unprotected. So, whereas there aren’t any grudges, why can’t the Liberian people be protected against the sale of unsafe foods.

    There aren’t flushable toilets at the markets. The list continues.

  3. Well articulated, Mr. Hney. How in this world a bar and restaurant employing 60 Liberians will be considered a large business in Liberia? Is the Ministry of Commerce comparing Fuzion Bar and Restaurant with Mittall Steel, China Union, Farmington Hotel, Boulevard Hotel and many other large business entities operating in the Nation? How does the Commerce Ministry categorize businesses in Liberia? What constitute a large business? Just curious!

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