President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has praised two manufacturing companies that have begun production in the country for creating jobs for hundreds of Liberians in the private sector and for proudly helping to uplift Liberia’s economy.
An Executive Mansion release said President Sirleaf made the assertion at the end of a tour of the facilities at the TIBA Industrial Group and Garson Manufacturing both situated at the Monrovia Industrial Park in Gardnersville at the weekend. TIBA Industrial Group produces 11 types of biscuits, while Garson Manufacturing produces variety of nails.
“I’m very impressed by efforts made by TIBA to move us to another stage of our development in which we now have manufacturing. We now have value added,” President Sirleaf said when she spoke to journalists accompanying her on the tour, adding, “That creates jobs for hundreds of our young men and women who are engaged in different aspects of the processing at the manufacturing plant. This pleases us and it’s in keeping with our development agenda.”
She noted that during her closed-door meeting with the management of TIBA Industrial Group, she commended all of those who have supported the Group in carrying out government’s agenda.
Earlier, the general manager of TIBA Industrial Group, Mackel Gharib, welcomed President Sirleaf to the company’s premises. Providing a short history of the company, he said it is a Lebanese-Liberian-owned manufacturing plant of biscuits and other food products officially opened for production in November 2013.
Their production line comprises 11 types of biscuits including, Cream Crackers, Digestive, Football, Ginger, Marie, Milk, among others.
He assured the Liberian leader that his company will be extending its operations by the first week of July 2015 by adding another line that will manufacture Wafers to be sold locally and internationally. New machines are expected by mid-June, and will be installed immediately.
TIBA has 256 employees (six expatriates and 250 Liberians) of which 80 percent are women. After installing the second production line, TIBA is expected to hire an additional 55 employees which will increase employee strength to 305, enabling them to run three 8-hour shifts.
The company assured President Sirleaf that they will continue to do its part in lifting the nation’s economy. “You have our fullest support in building capacity and reducing the poverty level in Liberia, as long as we have a continuous flow of raw materials into the country,” Mr. Gharib assured.
Later, at Garson Manufacturing, the general manager and chief operating officer, Mr. Alfred B. King, extoled the Liberian President for the visit and said he and the employees were very grateful.
For a company which commenced production in February 2015 and has a workforce of a 100-strong, with 45 percent women, he was hopeful to increase production to meet the demands of the general public shortly.
“Right now we are producing over 10 tons a day. In the next three to four months we will be doing at least a container a day which is 27 tons,” he assured, adding that from his survey, the Liberian market will be able to consume 16 containers monthly.
Meanwhile, President Sirleaf has issued a strong warning to illegal squatters to immediately leave the Monrovia Industrial Park in order to allow government to carry on investment through industrial manufacturing activities.
She reminded residents that they will not be allowed to build on areas designated in the last ten years by government as the industrial park. “This place was designated by the government several years ago to put industries here so it could create jobs for people.
Many people have started to build in this area. The government has said it would not bother those who came there during the period when they didn’t have a place to say,” the Liberian leader stressed.
However, she pointed out that where there was no encroachment, government will not allow any further encroachment; strongly warning, “Let the word go out that the part that government has now designated as the industrial park, no one should build there because if you build there, government will break the structure down.”
President Sirleaf has designated the Ministry of Public Works to determine the perimeter of the Monrovia Industrial Park and put up signs in the designated areas to avoid any encroachment or squatting.-Press Release