Rubber Farmers Want Executive Order 124 Revoked

The Consortium of Rubber Planters with support from the Economic Freedom Fighters have staged a peaceful protest at the grounds of the Capitol Building petitioning the National Legislature to prevail on the Executive to have the recent Executive Order 124 issued by President George M. Weah revoked.

In their opinion, the Executive Order is evil and does not represent the will of the people of Liberia, in particular rubber farmers.

Early December, President George Weah issued Executive Order 124, placing a band on the exportation of unprocessed rubber from Liberia. “wherefore and view of the foregoing ,Petitioners most respectfully REQUEST the Honorable Legislature to do the following: To revoke Executive Order #124 as it deprives Petitioners the right to livelihood and discourages free trade and competition; to declare Executive Order #124 as at Order against the fundamental rights and survival of Petitioners in particular and Liberians in general.”

The petition to the 54th Legislature which was presented to the lawmakers recently was graced by the rubber arsers, rubber reskers, rubber spasters, Truckers and the rubber forwarding agents of the Republic of Liberia.

They stated that the petition to the Legislature is to caution the lawmakers to use their authority to ensure the welfare of Liberian citizens through appropriate policies of the government of Liberia and at the same time ensure that policies counter-productive to the welfare of Liberian citizens are revoked.

The Petitioners in their argument cited Article Eight and Nine of the Liberian Constitution as their reliance to call for the revoking of Executive Order 124. Article eight provides that, “The Republic shall direct its policy towards ensuring for all citizens without discrimination, opportunities for employment and livelihood under just and humane conditions, and towards promoting safety, health and welfare facilities in employment.”

Whereas, Article Nine provides that, “The Republic shall encourage the promotion of bilateral and regional cooperation between and among Liberia and other nations and the formation and maintenance of regional organizations aimed at the cultural, social, political and economic development of the peoples of Africa and other nations of the world.”

Amongst the twenty counts petition, they stated that the Executive Order Number 124 which places a ban on exportation of unprocessed rubber from Liberia is counter-productive to the welfare of the conglomerate of Liberian Rubber Planters, Brokers, Exporters, Truckers and Forwarding Agents in the rubber industry of Liberia who are themselves employers of thousands of Liberians and rely heavily on rubber for livelihood.

They stated that the high unemployment and economic hardship facing Liberians,  the rubber industry has been a source of vivid empowerment to Liberians employing thousands of Liberians including unskilled and skilled laborers.

In an analysis, the President of the Rubber Consortium provided that neighboring Ivory Coast is now the highest exporter of both processed and unprocessed rubber in Africa and that Ivory Coast has more than 50 rubber processing plants, but yet the neighboring country exports about a million of tons of rubber a year. He asserted that the economy of Ivory Coast is flourishing because the rubber farmers from the Ivory Coast are benefiting from the competition existing within the rubber industry.

They also noted that because of the competition created by exportation of rubber, Ivorian Rubber farmers have options to sell and are now extending their farms and opening abundant farms, at the same time stating that similar thing is now happening in Liberia as rubber farms are now operational due to the competition that has been existing in the last few months.

They stated that it further boom in the rubber industry and economic growth for ordinary Liberians. However, the rubber farmers stated that Executive Order 124 issued by the President placing a ban On exportation of unprocessed rubber, is an action which is intended to undermine Liberian Rubber Farmers to the advantage of concessionaires who are largely foreigners and wicked and inhumane.

In reference, they recorded that a few years back, shipping lines were not shipping cup rubber, asserting that it brought unlimited hardship in the Rubber Industry and the concessionaires who are today influencing ban on the exportation.

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