GoL’s Passive, Indifferent Attitude Toward Liberian-owned Businesses

first_imgAs mentioned in last Friday’s Editorial, the government of Liberia’s passivity and indifference toward Liberian-owned businesses started not with this administration but long before.This is, unfortunately, one of the legacies of President William V. S. Tubman’s Open Door Policy. It was a policy that gave great encouragement to foreign businesses and business people, including very generous investment incentives such as duty free privileges and extensive tax holidays.Take for example the rubber industry; several of the foreign rubber companies still enjoy some of these privileges but not a single Liberian rubber company. This includes the biggest of them all, Morris American Rubber Company, commonly known as “Morris Farm”. Started in the 1930s by Harry Morris, it is the biggest employer among all the Liberian rubber farms. And, currently run by his son Bill Morris, it is the only Liberian rubber planter that is processing its own product for export. Morris American does not have to sell to Firestone. Yet it enjoys none of the privileges extended to some of the foreign companies.In her meeting with Liberian entrepreneurs last week, President Sirleaf heard some constructive criticisms. Madam Isatu Gbegbe Noubibous told the President that all too frequently Liberian businesses are “sidelined” in the GoL bidding process, in favor of foreign businesses. Even if Liberian businesses win GoL bids of any scale, there is yet another hurdle. The Government of Liberia has been notorious for its history of bad debt, especially in the current administration. It has become so bad that some business people have disclosed to the Daily Observer that they no longer do business with the Liberian government. Even a local bank a couple of years ago issued an unofficial in-house policy that there were to be no loans given to government officials. This is bad news and suggests two things. First, if the people running the Liberian government have such bad credit as individuals, what is there to convince anyone else that the government as a whole is credible for business? Second, it is not as though the President doesn’t know what is happening. Remember Liberia’s debt-waiver program with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund? President Sirleaf knew exactly what needed to be done to win back Liberia’s credibility with those international partners. Is it that much more difficult for the Liberian government to win back its credibility with its own people? Is President Sirleaf simply going to treat the plight of Liberian business people with lip service? Whole day, “We hear you; we will take your concerns into consideration,” she says. But then the breakfast club jumps in the way and sways all the opportunities in favor of their foreign friends. It is not really about the money, Madam President. It is about Respect. Many of your lieutenants do not respect themselves enough to even respect the offices entrusted to their care. They insult the integrity of their positions and therefore insult the Liberian People. It is about Justice. How many corrupt officials has this government successfully prosecuted? They either abscond, are let off on judicial technicalities or are asked to resign. It is about Patriotism, for goodness sake! We know of NO other nationality that prefers foreigners before their own nationals. Sanitation entrepreneur George Howe told the President that the banks are reluctant to lend Liberians the sufficient amounts these entrepreneurs need to move their businesses forward. In Liberia, patriotism seems to be losing considerably to envy. “Why should he or she get this break and not I”, is the common mindset in Liberia. This Newspaper has always asked, how can we develop Liberia on envy? It cannot and will never happen. But we cannot, must not remain crabs in the bucket.And toiletries business man Fomba Trawally urged the President to see to it that GoL give some preference to Liberian Manufacturers. The President listened intently to the Liberian business people and pledged to actively heed to their pleadings. We count it most unfortunate that the President finds herself making this pledge in the 11th year of her administration, with scarcely two years to go. But as one of the entrepreneurs she met indicated, it is better late than never.In order to fulfill that pledge the President has a lot of convincing to do among her lieutenants. She has to convince them that it is Liberians, not foreigners, who must build Liberia. The sooner they are empowered to do so, the better. Time is running out! Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Massoud brace dumps Sofapaka out of GOtv Shield

first_img0Shares0000Kariobangi Sharks defender Pau Kamau and striker Massoud Juma celebrate a goal against Sofapaka in a GOtv Shield round of 16 match at Nyayo Stadium on July 23. PHOTO/CourtesyNAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 23- Massoud Juma’s two second half goals helped Kariobangi Sharks thrash Sofapaka 3-1 at the Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday, dumping the three-time GOtv Shield champions out of the tournament in the round of 16.Batoto ba Mungu will have only themselves to blame after missing countless chances in the first half and were punished by a determined Sharks side which has been on a roll, failing to lose a single match since late April. Juma struck twice in a space of 30 minutes, adding on to Paul Kamau’s first half goal as William Muluya’s men kept their hope of reaching the final alive.Umaru Kassumba scored Sofapaka’s goal in the 87th minute, but it was only consolation as the damage was already done.Goal keeper George Opiyo, standing in for the absent Mathias Kigonya who is away in Spain with the KPL All-Star team gifted Sharks with opening goal just two minutes to half time when he drifted off his line way above the 18-yard box.Kamau, playing his third match this season simply lifted the ball over the advancing Opiyo, punishing Sofapaka for all their missed chances.Sofapaka had found space inside the Kariobangi Sharks box on numerous occasions, but they could not get the right formula to break the deadlock.Michael Oduor had the first attempt for the 2014 champions in the seventh minute, noticing Sharks keeper Robert Mboya off his line, but his attempt from close to the halfway line was wide.On the other end, Massoud Juma’s ferociously curled freekick from the left was well saved by Opiyo for a corner that wasn’t put into good use.Sofapaka continued to dominate the early proceedings and Ezekiel Okare had a golden chance when he was picked out by Oduor unmarked inside the box but he was too quick to make an attempt at goal, Mboya making an easy catch.Kariobangi Sharks midfielder Elli Asieche vies for the ball with Sofapaka’s Abdulatiff Omar in a GOtv Shield round of 16 match at Nyayo Stadium on July 23. PHOTO/CourtesyIn the 21st minute, Sharks built up play beautifully with Mathew Tayo backheeling the ball for Juma at the edge of the box, but Sofapaka midfielder Hillary Echesa backtracking managed a superb tackle to pluck the ball off Juma’s feet as he went for the trigger.Sofapaka had more chances to score, but they seemed to be off the mood. In the 29th minute, Umaru Kasumba picked out Oduor with an incisive through pass, but the midfielder’s effort at goal was wide.In the 33rd minute, Sofapaka had an even better chance when Willis Ouma’s lofted ball from deep in defense found Okare, but the forward took too much time with the ball, the Sharks defense managing to poke it off.It fell on Kassumba who once again failed to act on it first time and was challenged as he went to pull the trigger, the Ugandan forward bungling over with the entire Sofapaka team crying for a penalty.They were punished for the missed chances two minutes to the break when Kamau simply lifted the ball over the advancing keeper who was way off his line trying to claim a long ball.In the second half, Sharks came in with more vigor and it only took them seven minutes to double their lead. Juma picked up a superb long range pass from Kamau, lifting the ball over the advancing Opiyo.Sofapaka’s Ezekiel Okare attempts to lob the ball over advancing Kariobangi Sharks keeper Robert Mboya during a GOtv Shield round of 16 clash at Nyayo Stadium on July 23, 2017. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaThe goal drew in a punch in Sofapaka’s balloon and they deflated with Sharks picking up. Three minutes after they went 2-0 up, Elly Asieche almost scored against his former side with a shot from close range, but Opiyo saved.Sharks had built up a swift move from the left with Juma breaking off from his markers before cutting back for Asieche who was well positioned inside the box. Another brilliant chance presented itself in the 57th minute when Kennedy oduor misjudged a long ball, but Juma could not beat Opiyo one on one.The deflated Sofapaka had a chance to half the deficit five minutes later when confusion in the Kariobangi Sharks defense from a Bernard Mang’oli through pass found Kassumba, but the Ugandan shot over even after side-stepping keeper Mboya.But Sharks kept on their A game and they got the third in the 83rd minute when Juma got the second after breaking the offside trap and despite Opiyo saving his initial shot, he picked up the rebound and banged it home.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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