Street peddlers otherwise known here as petty traders want President George M. Weah to fulfill all promises made in his inaugural speech delivered at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Stadium in Paynesville outside Monrovia.
The President in his inaugural address highlighted several key issues his government will address among them support to Liberian-owned businesses to stop Liberians from being spectators to their own economy.
Appearing on Power FM Thursday, 25 January the chairperson for the Federation of Petty Traders of Liberia, Mrs. Comfort Dorley notes, “If we petty traders and street vendors, among others must compete with foreigners in the economy, then there is more to be done by this government in terms of providing the necessary support to Liberian-owned businesses to give us the strength of getting on our feet and doing things that will make us strong, and not just to sit down and watch foreigners to dominate our economy.”
She emphasizes a need for the new government to set up a task force that would investigate and monitor the operations of businesses across the country for the upliftment of Liberian-owned businesses.
Madam Dorley says though President Weah had said Liberian businesses will not be a spectator in the economy, but that doesn’t mean people should sit down and fold their hands, believing the President will put food on their table.
“He said it, but that is something we have heard before, I think it is about time we street vendors, petty traders start to doing something positive for ourselves”, she underscores.
In his inaugural address, the President also promised to construct a proper governance structure for the good of the country. “I intend to construct the greatest machinery of pro-poor governance in the history of this country. I will do more than my fair share to meet your expectations, I ask you to meet mine, for I cannot do it alone. Mine is an expectation that you, fellow citizens, will rise up and take control and responsibility for your destiny”, the new Liberian leader challenged his fellow compatriots.
He continued, “I ask that you will look away from the things that divide us, and draw strength and energy from the things that unite us. Mine is an expectation that you will push yourselves to achieve the possibilities that are within your reach. That you will aim to do more for yourselves and expect other to do less. And mine is a further expectation that you will discover a new sense of fairness and integrity; a new love for country and for each other, a love that will turn public servants and government officials into national champions for change.”
Expectations among Liberians, particularly the youth are very high that the Weah administration will turn things around and improve their lives sooner than later, but skeptics think the reality is far-fetched in the face of a dwindling economy, exacerbated by drop in prices of the country’s nature resources such as timber, rubber, iron ore, among others on the world market.
By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne