The Liberians for Change Movement, a local civil society group says Liberians ought to reflect and realize that they are confronted with greedy and diabolical corporate interests at varying levels that are dividing the country and excluding tangible social and economic dividends from a broad spectrum of the society.
In a press statement issued here, the LCM says Liberia has won and Liberians ought to realize this great achievement, noting that the mere fact, “we are using the courts to address our dissatisfactions or concerns and keeping our nation peaceful, shows good level of maturity and civility.” It continues that what is and should be paramount to every peace-loving Liberian is how collectively the country could combat the tentacles of corruption that have bounded the citizenry to deliver economic and social inclusive policies for the wellbeing of the majority.
“We ought to now use these days to highlight some of these bad deals to see where and how our candidates plan to fight for Liberians.” It calls on the media and civil society organizations to take the lead in highlighting these issues to awaken the national consciousness of a vast majority of Liberians by putting politics aside and recognizing that the country needs to liberate itself from very bad deals and policies in order to create wealth and better quality of life.
The press release outlines nine counts of issues it wants addressed, including granting of at least 2 to 3 hectare of land to smallholders for mechanized farming for cash crop (Rice, Cocoa & Palm) rather than making said land available to concessionaires for US$1.25 (One dollar and Twenty Five Cents per hectare for undeveloped land and US$5 for developed land for 65 years).
It calls for the creation of modern version of the Liberian Produce and Marketing Company through a private public partnership framework to cater for warehousing, processing and marketing outlets regionally as off-takers of these major agriculture smallholder schemes.
LCM also seeks the construction of modern housing facilities along these growth corridors to house thousands of new income earners from these initiatives, and the formation of an Agriculture and Cooperative Development bank to provide credit facilities as well as formation of private fund through an organized private public partnership business clearing hub to support Liberian businesses, among others.
It also calls for the formation of expert monitoring teams per specific area of engagement at various mining sites to assess the actual taxation on what is being exploited while reviewing the concession agreements to guarantee the equitability of these concession agreements for revenue sharing as well as scrapping of the APM Terminal Agreement, returning Liberia to its actual FREEPORT status in West Africa and creating major transshipment and low cost commodities opportunities.
The release notes that Liberia loses Millions of Dollars as the country surrenders tariffs rights to greedy investors through a profit sharing of seventy percent to them, while Liberia is left with thirty percent and the responsibility of port maintenance and others.
“Let it be known that this group essentially took over our Freeport of Monrovia without any tangible investments and has since been collecting revenues at the Freeport”.
“We are calling on ALL WELL MEANING LIBERIANS and Friends of Liberia to join this noble cause to truly liberate our nation and provide good quality of life for our citizens. Let’s sound the trumpet for better quality of life and equitable dealings in the interest of Liberia. Let us address the key question of ‘what will happen to our masses when we failed to act and fight for them?’ Let’s not ask what jobs will be given to us in our sojourn in political theaters”, the release concludes. Press Release