President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has praised two manufacturing companies that have begun production in the country, for creating jobs for hundreds of Liberians in the private sector and thereby “proudly helping to uplift Liberia’s economy.”
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made the assertion at the end of a tour of the facilities at the TIBA Industrial Group and Garson Manufacturing both situated at the Monrovia Industrial Park in Gardnersville at the weekend. TIBA Industrial Group produces 11 types of biscuits, while Garson Manufacturing produces a variety of nails.
“I’m very impressed by efforts made by TIBA to move us to another stage of our development in which we now have manufacturing. We now have value added,” President Sirleaf said when she spoke to journalists accompanying her on the tour, adding, “That creates jobs for hundreds of our young men and women who are engaged in different aspects of the manufacturing process. This is in keeping with our development agenda.”
Earlier, the general manager of TIBA Industrial Group, Mackel Gharib, welcomed President Sirleaf to the company’s premises. Providing a short history of the company, he said it is a Lebanese-Liberian owned manufacturing plant producing biscuits and other food products. It officially opened for production in November 2013.
Their production line comprises 11 types of biscuits including, Cream Crackers, Digestive, Football, Ginger, Marie and Milk.
TIBA has 256 employees (six expatriates and 250 Liberians) of which 80 percent are women. After installing the second production line, TIBA is expected to hire an additional 55 employees which will increase employee strength to 305, enabling them to run three 8-hour shifts.
Later, at Garson Manufacturing, the general manager and chief operating officer, Mr. Alfred B. King, thanked President Sirleaf for the visit and said he and the employees were very grateful.
For a company which commenced production in February 2015 and has a 100-strong workforce of which 45 percent are women, he is hopeful of increasing production soon in order to meet the demands of the general public.
“Right now we are producing over 10 tons a day. In the next three to four months we will be doing at least a container of nails a day which is 27 tons,” he assured, adding that from his survey, the Liberian market will be able to consume 16 containers monthly.
Meanwhile, President Sirleaf has issued a strong warning to squatters to immediately leave the Monrovia Industrial Park in order to allow government to promote investment through industrial manufacturing activities.
She reminded residents that they will not be allowed to build on areas designated in the last ten years by government as the industrial park. “This place was designated by the government several years ago to put industries here so it could create jobs for people. Many people have started to build in this area. The government had said it would not bother those who came there during the period when they didn’t have a place to stay,” Madam Sirleaf said.
President Sirleaf has designated the Ministry of Public Works to determine the perimeter of the Monrovia Industrial Park and put up signs in the designated areas to avoid any encroachment or squatting.