Liberia Marketing Association (LMA) came into existence not only to protect those selling at markets throughout Liberia, but also those who purchase from the sellers, as well as cater to the welfare of all members of that organization.
Similarly, the Federation of Transport Union of Liberia (FTUL) and General Transport Union of Liberia (GTUL) were also formed as trade unions to seek the welfare of all commercial drivers and passengers, as well as conduct all commercial vehicular and human traffics throughout the country.
Since the establishment of these three grassroots organizations many years back, nothing much convincingly tangible can be pointed to as achievements by leaders-past and present of these institutions.
For the LMA, the oldest of the three, its existence is just to enrich the leadership and its protectors in government, and not the ordinary market women and men, ‘yanna boys and girls’, as well as low level workers of that association.
The conditions and environment in which interactions take place daily at these market places are even beyond normal human comprehension, with no sense of remorse on the part of those who should be leading.
Most marketers and visitors ponder over the presence of the stock-pile of gabbage at the Duala, “Mary-Go-Round” (Rally Town), Nancy Doe, Red-light and other markets as well as the dilapidated conditions of the bathrooms for weeks, despite the huge daily cash collection executed by the association.
Even the poor arrangements of market stalls (tables), booths and spots outside of the main market buildings erected by the Governments of Liberia with no cost to the LMA except for political support, are a manifestation of the LMA leadership’s inability to comprehend the formation and existence of trade unions.
For the two transport unions – FTUK and GTUL, they’re just “big mess.” From the time these two institutions came into existence many years ago, they cannot even boast of any terminal of their own.
The government had to make provision for space in Paynesville for use due to embarrassments those in leadership are causing it and the people of Liberia. Where there are Lebanese and Fulah stores are always occupied by the FTUL and GTUL as packaging lots, and as a result, there are always congested vehicular and human traffics.
The offices from which these organizations conduct their affairs have not only been under lease for “rock of ages” but also disorganized. Visit there, you would see exactly what I’ am talking about.
To cater to their memberships (the drivers) in terms of welfare is a problem.
Accountability for missing goods and other belongings of passengers is also very incomprehensible, giving most of us an impression about the inability of the two leaderships to effectively run the trade unions.
Of paramount concern is the intentional unpreparedness of the LMA, FTUL and GTUL to immensely contribute to national development, as institutions of such nature do in other countries, including Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, among others.
More puzzling is the conspicuous silence of the institutions of the government of Liberia with oversight responsibilities for organizations like the LMA, FTUL and GTUL, in terms of exerting the necessary pressure on them to do what they ought to be doing for the years they have existed. There are even more doubts as to whether these institutions are even monitored by government, is something yet to be heard of.
The fact of the matter here is that leaders of the LMA, FTUL and GTUL have, over the years; continue to enjoy the patronage of very senior government officials for reasons that are also visible to Liberians who really have the eyes to see.
Two things many Liberians are now pushing for the solution to such sluggishness include a comprehensive review of the activities and documents that gave birth to the LMA, FTUL and GTUL for reforms, as well as strong advocacies by civil society organizations and ordinary Liberians on the activities of these organizations throughout Liberia.