December 15, 2016—Liberty Party is concerned about the increasing difficulties being faced by business owners in clearing their goods from the Freeport of Monrovia and is urging the Government of Liberia to pay keen immediate attention to the plight of the business people concerned; majority of whom are middle-class Liberians who try to make life in the private sector.
We are informed that BIVAC is doing inspection on Containers that have already been inspected from where these business owners did their purchases. As per the Contract between the Liberian Government and BIVAC, pre-inspection is conducted at the port of embarkment so as to save business people the headache of inspection of goods during clearance from the Freeport of Monrovia. Contrary to the Contract mentioned between the Liberian Government and BIVAC, the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) has decided to have BIVAC conduct on-the-spot inspection at the Freeport of Monrovia. This is against the existing Contract. This latest action on part of the LRA is causing unnecessary delays in clearing goods from the Freeport of Monrovia, thereby increasing storage fees of goods and other financial difficulties on business people. They do not deserve to undergo such additional financial burden.
Liberty Party is aware of the challenges being faced by Government in meeting projections of the National Budget, but we do not believe that extra taxation and increasing difficulties being imposed upon business people will resolve our current economic issues; rather, fiscal discipline as in cutting down wasteful spending and putting into place other austerity measures with [the political] will to implement those measures would do. It is time to act and act now.
Meanwhile, Liberty Party calls for calm as it remain seized of this grave matter. We will remain engaged with the Liberian Government on behalf of our business community until an amicable settlement of this matter can be found.