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Friday, July 19, 2024

Liberia: Senate Summons Commerce Minister for Rice Price Increment

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Members of the Liberian Senate have cited Commerce and Industry Minister Amin Modad for the price of the nation’s staple food, rice.

The plenary of the senate made the decision following concerns raised by Gbarpolu County Senator Botoe Kanneh on the stability of rice price on the Liberian market.

Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon emphasized that the Senate through the Commerce Committee cite instead of being invited, the Minister of Commerce Amin Modad as the issue raised is concerning.

“We should not invite the Commerce Minister but we should cite him. The first made by this government which in our views is laudable is the step taken towards our staple food [rice] to reduce the price by Twenty-five cents and if we don’t act now, the public will come to the senators and ask what y’all know about the price of rice so let’s cite him, let’s know what informed his decision and how long it will stay,” Senator Dillon said.

On Friday February 16, 2024 Minister Modad announced a significant reduction in the price of a 25kg bag of rice, effective Monday February 19, 2024, bringing relief to consumers amidst global economic shifts.

He revealed this decision during his inaugural press conference on Friday, February 16, 2024.

Following discussions with the Rice Importers Association, Minister Modad disclosed that the price of rice would decrease from $17.00 to $16.75 per bag.

But contrary to the pronouncement from the ministry Madam Kanneh told plenary that the price of rice has increased especially in her county, indicating that a bag of 25kg rice is sold for L$4,000 or US$21.05 instead of the US$16.75.

“Last week, the Minister of Commerce made a decrease in the price of rice but as we speak, the price of rice has gone up more than ever before. The rice is sold for L$4,000 of US$21 so I want the Minister of Commerce to be invited here to give us details regarding his decision and while the price is at this level,” Senator Kanneh told the body.

Meanwhile, plenary voted overwhelmingly to cite Minister Modad which was voted upon unanimously was triggered by a motion from Maryland County Senator Gbleh-bo Brown.

As carried in the motion, the plenary through the Commerce Committee is to cite Minister Amin Modad in a period of one week, while the Committee is mandated to report back to the body next Thursday following the hearing with the Minister.

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