Continues to Impact Liberians Despite Defeat
Although the Alternative National Congress (ANC) admits that the election results caught them completely by surprise, obtaining a tumbling total of 112,067 votes amounting to 7.2 percent of the total votes cast on October 10, 2017, the ANC Standard Bearer, Mr. Alexander B. Cummings, is still relentlessly in the vanguard of positively contributing the social-economic progress of the country.
Continuing his efforts to empower Liberians, Mr. Cummings has donated an initial US$18,000 to the Patriotic Entrepreneurs of Liberia (PATEL), to help with the establishment of its secretariat.
PATEL is a coalition of Liberian business organizations and is the largest trade union with the aim to organize, nurture, and defend Liberian entrepreneurs by creating a better socio-economic environment where Liberians will own and run their economy.
By this recent donation, its believed Mr. Cummings is determined to focus on the welfare of the Liberian people and particularly Liberian business people — consistent with his stated commitment to empower Liberians from being spectators to major players in their economy, as he has frequently remarked.
“My contribution to PATEL is part of my commitment to continue to engage Liberia and uplift my fellow countrymen, by helping to build the private sector and Liberian businesses. Liberians for too have long been spectators in their economy, and I believe this has to change, and PATEL is advocating for that change”, Mr. Cummings said with a smile.
In response, the Spokesperson for PATEL, Mr. Dominick Kamara, said: “We are thankful to Mr. Alexander B. Cummings for his commitment to Liberian businesses and PATEL. This truly illustrates his commitment to Liberian businesses and entrepreneurs. We appreciate him supporting a grassroots organization like PATEL, and hope that together we can advocate for a more enabling environment where Liberians can own their economy again. The funds will go a long way in helping to shape the future of PATEL and helping us achieve our objective.
“The funds will be used to setup the organization’s secretariat, pay the organization’s rent for two years and help the organization continue its mission of ensuring policy makers create and foster a more sustainable business environment for Liberians.”
Another empowerment to Liberians was in the amount of US$10,000 to Liberian Marketing Association to fund a nursery for the children of market women at Rally Time Market.
Cummings said the donation was intended to help “educate the children.”
PATEL ‘s Strikes
It maybe recalled PATEL came into the limelight in February and April 2017, staging two protests aimed at halting commercial activities in order to draw attention to issues facing business owners.
PATEL called on the government to address the following issues: the continuous hiking of the U.S. Dollar against the Liberian Dollar, the high tariff and incidental tariffs being placed on Liberian businesses, petty traders having their goods seized, high municipal taxes and garbage fees, the need for Liberians to be given exclusive retailing rights, and a call for the Commerce Ministry to open Import Permit Declaration for Liberians to import sugar, rice, and other products.
The strikes paralyzed Liberian businesses for three days and successfully drew government’s attention and saw the president convene a meeting with her Economic Management Team to address some of the issues. She also met with some business organizations, though not with PATEL.