To ensure economic growth specifically through the facilitation of trade in the food system, President George M. Weah has reminded the 54th Legislature to consider in a timely manner the passage of the National Standard Authority Bill in to law.
The National Standard Authority Bill was among several bills that the President mentioned in his recent annual address to the nation for lawmakers to prioritize.
The bill has been passed by the House of Representatives, but still lingers before the Liberian Senate.
Delivering his annual message, President Weah said he believes that the bill is important to the development of the country and as such, he is urging the lawmakers to prioritize its passage in to law.
The National Standards Bill seeks for the establishment of a National Standards Body of Liberia that will be called the Liberia Standards Authority (LiSA). The Act, if passed, will provide an essential legal and administrative framework for the establishment of the Liberia Standards Authority along with its roles and functions.
According to local food sellers, the bill is necessary in meeting Liberia’s need for a sound national quality infrastructure to achieve national strategic economic goals.
Some of the critical roles of the bill is to ensure the promotion of economic growth including the provision for services that could facilitate trade, ensure consumers’ protection particularly technical regulations that can address issues of substandard goods and products and to support the growth of local industries and small medium enterprises among others.
President Weah on September 25 last year issued an Executive Order (EO) #102 suspending tariffs on several needed agriculture implements, inputs and equipment for a one- year period. Executive Order, #102 is an extension of Executive Order #97 issued in 2019 and elapsed this year. It is required to boost food production in conformity with the Liberian Government’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) that prioritizes agriculture development.
The National Standard Authority Act is the second policy that the President is pushing to improve the food system of Liberia since his ascencency.
Though, President Weah has made agriculture a priority of his administration, the sector still remain underfunded in term of budgetary allocation.