Pharmacies Given 7-Day Ultimatum to Present Articles of Inc.

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(L-R) Minister Tarpeh along with Deputy Minister Wisner at yesterday's press conference.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has given a seven-day ultimatum to non-Liberian owners and operators of pharmacies to present their Articles of Incorporation, or face the full weight of the law.

The concerned business entities are to also present their financial statements for the Year ended 2019.

The essence of the decision is to determine the nature of Liberian participation in such a sector as enshrined in the Liberianization Policy.

The operation of pharmacies is exclusively set aside for Liberian citizens under the Liberianization Policy.

The instructions were given by the Commerce Ministry over the weekend during a meeting with owners and operators of pharmacies in the country.

The meeting with the pharmacies was the result of increasing reports of hike in the prices of essential drugs on the Liberian market in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis.

The Ministry said it was disappointing to note that owners and operators of these pharmacies would be taking advantage of the prevailing health crisis in the country to inflate the prices of essential drugs.

“We want all of you to realize that whenever the operating environment is not stable or friendly as is with the current Coronavirus crisis, it also affects your respective businesses.”

The Ministry noted further that an arbitrary rise in the prices of essential commodities on the local market could suggest that those involved are not concerned about the wellbeing of consumers but profit making, only.

The Commerce Ministry said there was no justification for people to increase prices of essential products on the local market at such a critical time in the country’s history, as the cost of the products being hiked were brought in prior to the health crisis.

In response, three representatives of the cited pharmacies acknowledged the Commerce Ministry’s concerns about hike in the prices of essential drugs on the Liberian market and conceded to make some downward adjustment.

The representatives in separate remarks also hailed the Liberian Government for always ensuring that the business environment is friendly.

They pledged to pass the message on to their colleagues who did not attend the Friday, April 3, 2020 Meeting with the Commerce Ministry.

The meeting was attended by representatives from Abeer, BUNTY, Sonia, Lucky, Sheer Krishna and NAND Pharmacies as well as Pharmaceutical Inc.

Author

  • Anthony Kokoi is a young Liberian sports writer who has an ever-growing passion for the development of the game of football (soccer) and other sports. For the past few years, he has been passionately engaged in reporting the developments of the game in the country. He is an associate member of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL). He is a promoter of young talents. He also writes match reports and makes an analysis of Liberian Football.

2 COMMENTS

  1. When government officials want to extort money from foreign business people, they come up with these schemes. No one would buy this nonsense that these immigrant-owned pharmacies would be shut down because they’re not Liberian citizens. That Liberianization policy is not worth the paper it is written on because it’s never been enforced. Liberia is a free market economy – let everyone compete and if they violate the law, punish them. Mr. Minister, please stop this charade because it makes you look like an idiot.

  2. The Honorable Minister of Commerce is NOT an idiot. We all may from time to time not be happy with what is happening when it comes to the implementation of the Liberianization Policy, and this may cause great frustration, but publicly insulting our government is no replacement for effective policies.
    So Honourable Minister of Commerce, are there quantitative targets developed particularly for the number of Liberian-owned pharmacies that need to operate in the country? In other words, have you had a conversation with President Weah where you presented a clear goal of how many Liberian -owned pharmacies would be needed to replace the foreign-owned pharmacies operating in the country? Is there a clearly defined strategy of how to achieve this goal ? A step-by-step plan that is comprehensive? Is there a government mandated procurement policy that supports the Liberianization policy? Minister Tarpeh, I have known you for many years and you have always been smart, astute and results-oriented. So I am hoping that you have all of the above-mentioned bullet points in place. Your Ministry is pivotal to our country and our wellbeing. Be the trailblazer that you are Sir. Give us a reason to cheer for your accomplishments. Make “Liberianization” more than an empty slogan. Let that be your legacy.

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