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EditorialGeneralLiberia news

Editorial: Commerce Minister Amin Modad, a player and referee

It is highly incomprehensible that the chairman emeritus of the ruling Unity Party Amin Modad, who owns and operates chain of businesses here, including hotels is President Joseph Nyuma Boakai’s pick for Minister of Commerce and Industry. This choice of the President raises serious transparency and accountability questions about his government, particularly departure from business as usual.

How could a man, who is an active player in the sector be the one to supervise and regulate himself and his competitors! It is not just the conflict of interest, but pure nepotism that President Boakai and the Unity Party say they came to eradicate.

We think the President would do not just himself, but the country well by revisiting this appointment for the sake of fair play, accountability, and transparency.

It is very disappointing to the Liberian people for a party that sat in opposition and preached equity for six years would come to power and begin to do the very things that it talked against. This is not the kind of leadership style Liberians expect from the ‘rescue mission.’

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Look at what is obtaining in the security sector that has forced the new Minister of Defense, Retired Major General Prince C. Johnson, III, to resign. Trampling on the rights of the men and women in arms is a great disservice to the state, as we saw in the case involving former Minister Brownie Samukai.

Minister Johnson, III did the right thing by immediately tendering in his resignation, for this is the first time in recent history for celebration of Armed Forces Day to be forcibly canceled on account of dissatisfaction of soldiers, as expressed through their wives.

We do not know what awaits our nation’s commerce with a player appointed to referee actors and competitors. Will there be fair play or transparency? These are but few of the questions lingering in the public, as Minister Modad goes to work daily.

It is important that the government cultivate and maintain a fair but highly competitive business environment to attract direct foreign investments that have eluded the economy in the past six years.

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This can only be achieved with the kind of policies that would be put in place to stimulate the economy and attract more investors for healthy competition and growth.

We are raising these concerns not on account that we have anything specific against Minister Amin Modad, but that compromise and selfish interests would be thrown out of the window so that the right things are done for the general good of the country, which needs serious economic viability.

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One Comment

  1. There is a way to get around the potential conflict of interest with the Commerce Minister designee. He can divest himself of his businesses by appointing an independent body or firm to run them during his tenure at the Ministry of Commerce. If that is not done, the likelihood of foul play will be high.

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