The Ministry of Commerce is scheduled to embark on inspection of commodities on the Liberian market effective Wednesday, September 2, 2015.
Commerce Minister Axiel Addy, who made the disclosure in Monrovia, said government has reduced prices to make goods affordable for consumers. Briefing reporters Thursday at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism on Capitol Hill, he said prices for gasoline and diesel have dropped, so it is mandated that commercial drivers reduce fares.
According to the Commerce boss, henceforth from Red Light in the commercial district of Paynesville to New Georgia Junction along Somalia Drive is 25 Liberian Dollars in taxi cab, while bus is 15 Liberian Dollars. Minister Addy said a 25 kilogram bag of rice previously sold at retail price between US$17 to $18, is now US$15.
He said Liberia has one of the lowest gas prices among the Mano River Union Countries(Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast) saying, “If someone is caught violating the commerce law, that person will be fined and if the person refuses to pay the fine, the business will shut down.”
At the same time the minister has called for the registration of small and large businesses in the country, noting that the process was moving too slowly. He said uniformed inspectors from the ministry with proper identification will shortly embark on inspection of businesses for registration.
He said the Commerce Ministry lacks adequate resources to deploy inspectors throughout the country, but with assistance of retailers, violators will be tracked down. Meanwhile, the Commerce Minister has called on Liberians to be vigilant and beware of people impersonating as inspectors from the ministry and provided hotlines of various mobile phone companies operating in the country to the public to report violators and impostors: LoneStar Cell MTN, 9911; Cellcom, 6624; and Novafone, 991. By Ethel A. Tweh – Editing by Jonathan Browne