Liberia News: BUSINESSMAN DECRIES BAN ON UNPROCESSED RUBBER

Monrovia-Feb-5-TNR: As Liberian businessmen continue to suffer the brunt of former President George M. Weah’s Executive Order No. 124 placing a Moratorium on the exportation of unprocessed natural rubber from Liberia, a Liberian businessman is appealing to President Joseph Nyumah Boakai to lift the ban placed on unprocessed natural rubber as the order is causing more losses to their businesses.

In an exclusive interview Sunday, February 4, 2024, in Monrovia,  Mr. Gabriel S. Roberts, Chief Executive Officer/Owner of Americans Global Industries Group of Companies Inc. disclosed that the ban placed on unprocessed natural rubber from the country is affecting Liberian businesses to the extent that they have lost tons of unprocessed rubber in recent times.

Mr. Roberts is a prominent Liberian businessman based in the United States. His company built a Rubber Factory on the Kakata-Bong Mines Highway in Margibi County. The Americans Global Industries Group of Companies Inc. is 100 percent owned by Mr. Roberts. Established on two acres of land, the Americans Global Industries Group of Companies has invested US$1.2 million in the rubber business in Liberia.  

He added that the ban also affects the Liberian Government as well through the collection of revenue that can also boost the economic growth of a country. He said lifting the ban would increase the government’s revenue and contribution to job opportunities in the country.

Mr. Roberts who established a rubber factory in Margibi County known as Americans Global Industries Group of Companies is the owner of 2.1 acres of rubber farm in that county. He disclosed that presently, he has more than 305 tons of unprocessed rubber on the ground which is being damaged as a result of the ban placed on unprocessed natural rubber by the former Liberian leader.

“The ban placed on unprocessed natural rubber by former President Weah is seriously affecting us as business people in the country, we are Liberians who are being affected by Executive Order 124  issued some time ago by former President Weah placing a ban on unprocessed rubber. That is why we are appealing to President Boakai to intervene by lifting the ban,” Roberts stressed.

According to Mr. Roberts, there are tons of unprocessed natural rubber packed at the port and cannot be shipped while they are being made to pay taxes on those tons of rubbers due to the ban placed on rubber by Mr. Weah something he said is causing serious losses to their businesses.

Gabriel Roberts said President Boakai’s timely intervention in lifting the ban on unprocessed rubber will enable Liberian businesses to significantly contribute to the President’s plan of economic growth and the empowerment of thousands of jobless Liberians who are counting on government for jobs.

He added that the Executive Order is not a legislation enacted by the National Legislature that requires amendment, and as such, President Boakai must use his wisdom to lift the ban placed on unprocessed rubber to enable Liberian businessmen and women to positively contribute to their nation’s economy.

A few days after relinquishing power as President of Liberia, Mr. Weah issued “Executive Order No. 124 placing a Moratorium on the exportation of unprocessed natural rubber from Liberia.

The Executive Order noted, “Article 5 (c) of the Liberian Constitution provides that the Republic shall take steps, by appropriate legislation and Executive Orders to eliminate the misuse of government resources and all other corrupt practices.”

Former President Weah in issuing the Executive Order noted, “The Liberian rubber industry has been part of the national economic heritage for over 95 years, providing the highest single source of annual revenue for the Government and providing more employment nationwide than any other single economic sector, but having been greatly affected by abuse, misuse, abandonment and especially theft.”

The Executive Order noted that the Liberia rubber industry has been and continues to be depleted by its tapping observed to be increasing in addition to having massive economic consequences on employment and Government revenue the theft situation has major security implications throughout the country.

However Liberian businesses are said to be incurring great losses as a result of the ban placed on unprocessed natural rubber by former President Weah during the later days of his administration.

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