By Lincoln G. Peters
The National Chairman of the Patriotic Entrepreneurs of Liberia (PATEL), Mr. Dominic Nimely has called on President-elect Joseph Nyumah Boakai to prioritize Liberian-owned businesses in his administration.
Speaking with a team of journalists on Tuesday, 28 November 2023 in Monrovia, Nimely begged President-elect Boakai to not forget about the business community as it was in the last regime.
According to Nimely, during a meeting, President-elect Boakai promised to implement the Liberianization Policy.
“Liberian businesses have suffered for the past decades. Chinese and Lebanese store boys live better lives than a Liberian business CEO,” he alleged.
Nimely argued that Liberia is the only country where interest rates for businesspeople is at the highest level (35%, 25%, 20%) and payback time is full within three to four months, or one year.
According to him, the business community is very sure that the President-elect will bring changes in the private sector.
The PATEL Chairperson alleged that Liberian-owned businesses have been marginalized by foreign businesspeople in the country to the extent that APM Terminals does not take Liberian dollars during business transaction.
“We have a lot of challenges as Liberian-owned businesses, especially the incidental. In every economy, the small businessman is the backbone of that economy,” he lamented.
He noted that over the last decade in Liberia, the businesspeople have not been respected.
Nimely said the government, including the past governments, have shown no interest in helping to build the country’s economy by impacting local businesspeople that could save the nation from so many disadvantages.
He narrated that one of the problems Liberian-owned business face is access to finance.
Nimely, however, retracted a 100-day ultimatum that was given to the Unity Party (government in waiting) by the businesspeople of Liberia to give the incoming government time to address some challenges in the country.
The Chair of Trade and Commerce at the Liberia Business community said, “We crafted a document about two years ago when the Liberia Business Association (LIBA) engaged business groups and nearly every union complained of access to finance.”
“So we want the government to put in its budget U$50 million for Liberian businesses to be empowered,” he said.
At the same time, the PATEL Chairperson has praised President Goerge Manneh Weah for accepting the just-ended 14 November presidential run-off election.
Nimely also used the occasion to congratulate President-elect Boakai for winning the presidency.
He said Liberian businesses are willing and ready to work with the incoming government.