‘Economic Genocide’

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The new Third Party Insurance policy and vehicles registration scheme embarked upon by national government is being seen as a “serious economic genocide of the masses,” said the deputy secretary general of the National Patriotic Party of Liberia.

Addressing a news conference Monday, March 10, in Monrovia, NPP deputy secretary general Marvin Cole described the process as a calculated plan to unleash untold suffering on the common people who are affected by government regulations and policy.

He maintained that forcing private, commercial and business vehicles to get insurance registration while all government-owned vehicles are not covered is unfair.

“Government vehicles should be the first category to be covered under this policy,” Mr. Cole declared.

“Suppose a government vehicle hits me and is in the wrong, who takes responsibility for the damage? Attempting to enforce the law but not abiding by it is ridiculous. You who preach equity must come forward with clean hands. Laws should be created to help citizens, but it seems this new insurance policy is meant to cripple the economy. I realized that Deputy Police Director for Operations, Abraham Kromah, and other security officers are in streets enforcing the law, yet their vehicles are not insured.

“We think this action on the part of the police amounts to an economic crime. This exercise prevents vehicles in Monrovia from transporting food to other parts of the country while vehicles from the opposite direction are denied entry into Monrovia,” Cole pointed out.

“If the government who have all the resources in this country cannot be covered under this scheme; how can private cars owners go about said regulations?”

The party wants government to halt and redesign the process to ensure that all government cars are signed up under this arrangement.

The NPP further called on the National Road Transport Union of Liberia to stage a sit-in action demanding a restructuring of the plan.

Meanwhile, many commercial drivers interviewed by the Daily Observer have expressed dismay over the US$300 fee required to sign up for the insurance scheme.

One driver, Mr. Eugene Allison, described it as “extremely expensive and to the disadvantage of struggling drivers.”

“Imposing such a high cost in a short period without the aid of a massive awareness campaign is counterproductive. I appeal, on behalf of Monrovia’s drivers, that more time be provided in order to allow us to generate said amount,” Allison declared.

The Liberian National Police and the Ministry of Transport on March 1 began enforcing the nationwide Compulsory Third Party Insurance policy intended to have all business, private and commercial vehicles covered under the scheme. Since then, hundreds of vehicles have been grounded, leading to a major transportation crisis in the country. Commuters can be seen standing on the side of the road waiting for transportation for hours.

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