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Thursday, June 20, 2024

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO SUMMON COMMERCE MINISTER MODAD OVER RICE PRICE HIKE

Date:

MONROVIA, LIBERIA – The House of Representatives is currently engaged in a heated political debate over the recent increase in the price of rice on the Liberian market. The Minister of Commerce, Amin Modad, is likely to be summoned to address the issue and explore ways to resolve the concerns of importers. This move is spearheaded by Rep. Frank Saah Foko of District 9, Montserrado County, who has formally requested the Minister’s appearance to answer critical questions regarding the price hike.

On Monday, May 20, 2024, Rep. Foko sent a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa, expressing his alarm over the sharp increase in the price of a bag of rice. In his letter, Rep. Foko highlighted the troubling decision announced by the Minister of Commerce and Industry to raise the price from $16.50 to $18.50 USD.

“This new price increase is troubling for our people both far and near,” wrote Rep. Foko. “The harsh realities of this exercise have the proclivity to push other commodities higher as well and cause havoc in our nation.” He emphasized the additional burden this price hike would place on those living in rural areas with poor road conditions, leading to further price escalations due to transportation difficulties.

Rep. Foko underscored the importance of rice as a staple food and a political commodity in Liberia, warning of the potential instability such a price increase could provoke. He drew historical parallels to the April 14, 1979 rice riots, which had severe consequences and ultimately contributed to the political upheaval and conflict in the country.

“Our citizens are impoverished and struggle daily to make ends meet,” Rep. Foko continued. “This latest move is geared to create more hardships, unbearable and consequential suffering for ordinary Liberians.”

In his letter, Rep. Foko called for the urgent intervention of the Legislature, urging his colleagues to summon Minister Modad to provide a detailed explanation for the price increase and to explore possible legislative measures to prevent further economic strain on the population.

“Honorable colleagues, predicated upon these harsh realities, I crave your indulgence to kindly invite the Minister of Commerce and Industry to give us emphatic reasons for this insensitive increase and how this Legislature can intervene to prevent the shocking and unrealistic price of our nation’s staple food,” Rep. Foko concluded.

The House of Representatives is expected to take swift action in response to Rep. Foko’s concerns, reflecting the critical nature of the issue and its potential impact on the stability and well-being of the Liberian people.

Socrates Smythe Saywon
Socrates Smythe Saywon is a Liberian journalist. You can contact me at 0777425285 or 0886946925, or reach out via email at saywonsocrates@smartnewsliberia.com or saywonsocrates3@gmail.com.

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