PATEL Welcomes Ellen’s Executive Order No. 89, But…

Flashback: (L-r) President Sirleaf, Minister Addy and other government officials observe as ICT entrepreneur Caesar Morris leads a demonstration at the MSME conference in 2016.

The Patriotic Entrepreneurs of Liberia (PATEL) has commended President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Executive Order No. 89.

The Executive Order contains intrinsic policy measures that are intended to stimulate economic growth, with emphasis on reducing administrative or compliance cost, business process requirements on concessionaires, including small and medium-sized businesses and the manufacturing sector.

Caesar Morris, IT consultant and chief communications officer of PATEL, said though the organization is in serious crisis, they have succeeded to a large extent in the organization’s advocacy.

“You saw the president’s Executive Order 89 that was just issued a few days ago; I mean, to some extent, we have succeeded in our economic fight.

“Some of the things that we wanted changed by the government in our advocacy, the Executive Order has already initiated a change for that. Though the Executive Order did not address all of our concerns, but I think we are making headway in our organization,” he said.

Citing the difference between a law and an executive order, Morris said a law will go a long way until it is amended by the government, while an executive order is a president’s privilege to do whatever he/she wants to do over a short period of time.

“And that is what is happening with this executive order and all other orders she has released in her regime to improve or somehow affect the business environment in the country.

“We applaud President Sirleaf for that. However, key issues are still unresolved. One of them is the issue about having one hundred percent retailer rights, creating a better business climate in Liberia.

“We were all excited about Liberia joining the World Trade Organization (WTO); that’s a good thing. However, we still have not reached the point of having a National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC),” Morris said.

According to him, the NTFC is the body under the WTO that helps to facilitate trade, something that will also enhance the smooth operation of trade and better the business environment in Liberia.

Morris said: “Since Liberia became part of the WTO, that is a key component that is supposed to instill change as well as efficiency in the business environment that was never adapted.

“Now, that is the reason why we are going through this economic meltdown. We have the group at the Freeport called BIVAL, and APM Terminal refused to trade in our national currency, because we the body are not together. If we were together with one voice we will achieve our goal.”

He said: “These people’s contract was discussed by government in a foreign currency and therefore they will not accept the Liberian dollar for no reason. And if I was president Sirleaf, they will not be here for the next 24 hours. I will shut the companies down and bring others to take over.”

Meanwhile, the group has warned the general public not to do business with its former national chairman Presley Tenwah.

According to Kafumba Dolley, who spoke on the Prime FM Morning Drive show yesterday, the decision to remove Tenwah as national chairman was reached by a majority vote of the PATEL Board and county coordinators during an executive meeting on August 11, 2017.

The group said Tenwah did not respect any of his colleagues while serving in that post.