The Executive Committee of the Liberia Business Association (LIBA) has called for justice in the recent violence in Ganta that left one of its members’ properties destroyed.
The call was made by LIBA President Dee Maxwell Kemayah, in remarks he delivered at the opening of a three-day strategic planning workshop for members of the association.
“LIBA condemns the violence and murder of the motorcyclist in Ganta. The violence left one of our Nimba coordinators, Prince Howard’s properties destroyed, with damages running up to US$1 million. We want the government to make sure that justice is done and those connected to the violence and murder of the cyclist should also be punished,” Kemayah said.
He emphasized that while Mr. Howard is a strong Liberian business entrepreneur and a member of the Liberia Business Association, he must face justice if he is linked to the gruesome death of the motorcyclist.
He suggested that the government should look into ways of lessening the losses incurred by Mr. Howard because “the violence brought him to a low point from where it would take a long time for him to recover.”
Kemayah said as LIBA advocates for indigenous businesses to take over the country’s economy, they will not achieve this when Liberians making huge investments in the economy are targeted and their properties destroyed.
He said LIBA’s advocacy for access to finance as a means of putting the country’s economy in the hands of Liberians remains its main obligation.
“This is not a favor we are seeking from the Liberian government; it is our right as the people who own the resources of this land. Even the great United States, whose representative is in this gathering, know very well that without its economy in the hands of its citizens it will be impossible for the (U.S.) society to progress,” Kemayah stressed.
Team Leader and Assistant Country Director of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Dorsla D. Farcarthy, said the UNDP remains a partner to the development of the private sector.
He said the establishment of the Liberia Fund for Transformation (LIFT) is to help in the process of transforming and equipping the private sector.
He also emphasized that no country can develop without the private sector because it is the private sector that not only complements government’s efforts to provide employment opportunities for citizens but also pays taxes necessary for development.
He urged members of LIBA to set realistic and achievable goals that will enhance the development of the business sector.
A representative of the US Embassy concurred that development of a country cannot be achieved if citizens are not in charge of the economy.
The occasion was also attended by Dusty Wolokollie of the Governance Commission, representatives from the Ministry of Labor and National Investment Commission (NIC), the President of the Liberia Chamber of Commerce, Francis A. Dennis, and former presidents of LIBA and coordinators from the 15 counties representing the various chapters.
It can be recalled that on September 30, violence broke out in Ganta, Nimba County, following the alleged murder of a motorcyclist and the linking of businessman Howard to his death. This suspicion led to the looting of Howard’s Alvino Hotel while his home and vehicle were set on fire.