Guinea Ships Rubber Through Monrovia

Legislature calls for investigation

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President Sirleaf discusses security implications with House Speaker Nuquay

Nimba County District #8 Representative Larry P. Younquoi last last Thursday complained to House Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay of the Executive Branch of government’s unilateral decision to allow a rubber company from neighboring Guinea to use the Freeport of Monrovia to export its processed rubber to other countries without the consent of the Legislature, in violation of Article 32 (f) and (g) of the Constitution.

This act, if confirmed, labels the Legislature as a ‘toothless bulldog’ in the exercise of its oversight responsibility which is gradually becoming noticeable with multiple evidences of an ‘exclusion’ of the House of Representatives and Senate by the Executive Branch from its role in some national issues, lawmakers worry.

In many cases since 2006, agents of the Executive Branch argued that the “Legislature should know that it has an Executive invented-and-restricted oversight role, and also has every disincentive not to annoy the President.”

Rep. Younquoi argued that for Guinea to ship rubber through Liberia without the approval of the law is an “unfair, autocratic and unconstitutional decision” that should be investigated.

According to a letter from Rep. Younquoi, the rubber company is Soguipah, located in Diekè, Guinea 1100 kilometers from Conakry and close to the Liberian border. It has a total of 9000 hectares planted. The factory produces more than 13,000 metric tons of natural rubber per year.

“Mr. Speaker and distinguished colleagues, the need for such investigation cannot be overemphasized as it has both economic and internal security concerns. For instance, if international trade with Guinea, as such, is confirmed, the Legislature needs to be abreast of it, and have the instrument binding the two countries ratified. Secondly, such huge international transaction carries with it security concerns especially considering the current security situation in the world,” Rep. Younquoi wrote.

“Besides, stakeholders need to know the condition under which this is being carried out. For instance, there are many unanswered questions in the wake of such arrangement. Firstly, which of the two countries will the export be attributed to? Secondly, how much is being paid to Liberia for the use of its road and port? How much customs duty and other fees have been accrued thus far since the commencement of the exercise?” Younquoi asked in the letter.

However, after lengthy discussions, it was agreed that the House Leadership take heed of the ‘sensitive international matter’ and report accordingly.

Up to press time last night, it was not clear whether the Ministries of Commerce and Finance or any other government agency was aware of the Guinean trade link at the port of Monrovia since the matter surfaced at the legislature.

However, reports said the House leadership is handling the “misunderstanding” between the two branches, because it involves two countries that are members of the Mano River Union (MRU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

 

A consignment of the rubber from Conakry being shipped via Monrovia

Meanwhile, according to research, an international sourcing company, Tropicore, is responsible for marketing and exporting the Soguipah rubber from Guinea through Liberia.

“Tropicore develops long term relationships with a few first class producers. We act as their commercial representative agent on the international market. We have exclusive long term agreements with our suppliers who became, over the years, more partners than suppliers,” it said.

“Tropicore commercializes various grades of natural rubber such as TSR10, TSR20, RSS1, RSS3, Thin Brown Crepes and RSS Cuttings.”

Author

  • I am a Liberian journalist, born November 7 and hailed from the Southeast and of the kru tribe. I began contributing to the Daily Observer 2008 and was fully employed in 2012. I am the 3rd of eight children and named after my great grandfather. Am happily married with three children (girls). I am a full member of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) and also the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL) and the Legislative Press Pool (LEGISPOL). I can be contacted through email: [email protected] or cell number/WhatsApp: (+231) 0886585875 or Facebook.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Mano River Union (MRU), and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) were both created to enhance trade and economic integration in the West African sub-region. Liberia and Guinea are both members of these regional bodies. If one were to acquaint oneself with the protocols and treaties that members agreed to under these regional institutions there would certainly not be a “misunderstanding”.

  2. Larry you are right. If Government do not want fee. The. Counties these goods. are passing. need a fee to be pay.

  3. So what? All other African nations have agreements. Zambia ships its copper through Tanzania and many land locked countries in Southern Africa use the South African ports. The legislature now see more ways to steal money.

    So now we have to ask these useless lawmakers if we want to fart, pee or poop. What next, we would have to pay them a tax to have sex with our spouses? No, these lawmakers should be asking our permission and paying the Liberian people some taxes for making the capitol building a dirty house, they should pay us for spoiling our young girls and they should definitely pay Mother earth for breathing air. They cannot pass a simple bill without brown envelopes. Sometimes democracy is not for eveyone.

  4. This is a case of a so-called “lawmaker” who is completely uninformed of trade protocols for which the Country through its ratification processes and membership in regional and sub-regional bodies have already approved. All he needs to do is engage the respective offices and ascertain the agreements and ensure that all parties are in compliance of said protocols. Not to cry wolf and scare of the sheep! For years the Freeport of Liberia served as a port of call for Guinea given the distant from northwestern Guinea to Conakry. Its called economic cooperation and trade, and yes the Freeport earns income for its services.

  5. The time for imperial presidency in Liberia was over since few years ago. Why then the Executive
    Branch does not want the House of Representatives to execute its constitutional responsibility
    when it comes to international trade and commerce?

  6. When the tarrifs applied by Liberia exceed the cost to ship the rubber by road or train through Conakry the free zone arrangement which benefits Liberian trucking companies, and demand for fuel, food, lodging and other services Liberia enjoys from this additional boom in business will be terminated.

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