Speaker J. Alex Tyler
Lower House Invites Commerce Minister
By Hilary Wiagbe
MONROVIA, September 24 (LINA) -The Lower House of the National Legislature has requested the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Axel Addy, to appear before it on Thursday, September 25, to explain the sharp increase in the price of rice on the Liberian market.
The lawmakers said it was unthinkable for the Ministry to announce an increase in the price of rice, barely one week after Minister Addy declared during one of the Ministry of Information press briefings that there was a stockpile of the commodity in the country that could last for six months.
According to the Liberia News Agency (LINA), the Representatives unanimously voted Tuesday at the 6th Day Sitting of its Extraordinary Session, following the reading of a communication addressed to Speaker J. Alex Tyler by Representative Moses Kollie of Lofa County, drawing the attention of Plenary to the increase in the price of rice, the nation’s staple.
The lawmakers, who described the decision of the Commerce and Industry Ministry as “troubling”, argued that the increment was not necessary because importers have not brought new consignment of the commodity into the country since the Minister made the pronouncement that sufficient rice was available and that there was no need to panic.
They noted that at this time of national health crisis coupled with the financial constraints facing the country and its people, the increment has the propensity to create more burdens on the population and exacerbate their suffering.
At the same time, the House of Representatives has asked Minister Addy to take along with him procurement invoices of rice importers for the period July to September, 2014.