Following a negotiation process led by President George Manneh Weah, rice importers here have dropped prices on small and big rice bags, removing US$2.00 from the half bag measured 25 kilo grams, and US$4.00 from the full bag measured 50 kilo grams.
The decision was reached at a final negotiation meeting on Friday, 2 February with the rice importers by the President at his residence in the Rahab Community in Paynesville.
Presidential Press Secretary Mr. Sam Mannah clarified that the meeting with the rice importers involved local importers, represented by their president Mr. John Bestman. According to the Press Secretary, the local rice importers’ president Mr. Bestman agreed to reduce the price of the 25kg rice bag by US$2.00, while also reducing the price of the 50kg rice bag by US$4.00.
Mr. Manneh says the reduction takes immediate effect. According to him, President Weah had proposed US$3.00 reduction for the 25kg rice bag, but it was not possible immediately because importers expressed several issues about APM Terminals at the Freeport of Monrovia.
Due to the importers’ concerns, Mr. Mannah adds that the president has designated officials to talk with APM Terminals to establish what’s preventing importers from reducing rice price. According to him, Mr. Weah is mandating that the reduction in the price of rice be reflected in the sale of a cup of rice, meaning that it should also drop as is done with the rice bags.
The Press Secretary notes that the President is going to be monitoring the implementation of the decision to ensure that it impact the ordinary Liberians that cannot afford to buy a rice bag. Mr. Mannah says government is not trading anything with rice importers for the reduction of rice prices, saying it was only a negotiation by the president.
By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah