… NCSCL Calls On Gov’t

Madam Loretta Alethea Pope Kai

On the market in Liberia, the price of rice has significantly increased, and there are a few potential explanations as to why this has occurred. The National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL) has requested that the situation be immediately resolved by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry from the Government of Liberia (GoL).

Since then, the situation has caused panic as buyers, including retailers and consumers, have been spending longer time in lines at foreign warehouses and shops across the nation’s capital, Monrovia, and its environs, as well as in other parts of the country, in order to be served. These lines can be found in every region of the country.

At several points in the process, purchasers are required to purchase a different product before they may be supplied.

The current price of a bag of rice weighing 25 kilograms (kilograms) has grown to between US$22.50 and US$25, depending on the quality, from its previous price of US$13.00. This has resulted in greater financial hardships for average Liberians.

However, in the face of the ongoing increase, President George Manneh Weah recently stated that he does not believe that there is a rice shortage in his country. He noted that the news of rice scarcity in the Liberian market is just street talk, but the reality on the ground proves otherwise. Despite the fact that the price of rice continues to rise, the president does not believe that there is a rice shortage in his country.

On September 26, President Weah of Liberia made a statement to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), in which he remarked, “We need to not just listen to the street discourse. Therefore, I gave them my attention (importers). Not those who simply wish to express whatever it is that they wish to express. They don’t get my attention at all. I have a feeling that they have rice. This need one more round of verification.

But on the heels of the President’s statement, evidence gathered shows that rice stock on the Liberian mark is low. Hundreds of people were seen standing in long queues at major distributor sites, such as Fouani Brothers in Vai Town, in order to secure rice supply. This evidence shows that rice stock on the Liberian mark is low.

Rice is limited [in the country because importers are bringing in new items, according to Mr. Zoom Dosso, the Public Relations Officer for the Rice Importers Association.

Because of this, the NCSCL issued a press release in Monrovia on Sunday, October 2, 2022, urging the government of Liberia to take prompt action in addressing the situation, citing the fact that a significant number of Liberians, who are living below the poverty line, are hardly able to avoid going to bed hungry.

The council, which is the umbrella organization for all civil society organizations in the country, indicated that information that might have reached the President is very different from the reality on the ground, and as a result, there is an urgent need for a quick and tangible intervention by the government to resolve the rice crisis. The rice crisis has resulted in a severe shortage of rice.

Given that rice is one of the primary foods consumed in Liberia, the National Civil Society Council of Liberia has issued the following statement: “The National Civil Society Council of Liberia hereby calls on the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to quickly intervene in this rice crisis. Our people are already going through a difficult time, and an increase in the price of this item will only make things worse for them. The information that was provided to our President is not even close to being accurate,” the release stated further.

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