Rice is regarded as Liberia’s staple food. It can be recalled that nearly a week now, the stipulated 25kg price of US$13.50 cent is being in creased by nearly US$5, making it difficult for the ordinary Liberians to purchase the commodity.
During his inspection exercise at three different localities outside Monrovia, Minister Wilson closed down and imposed a fine of over US$50,000 on a storein the Duport Road Community Market he believes was creating artificial price.
The Duport Road Community Market is situated in Paynesville, outside Monrovia. The inspection was scene of attraction by several pedestrians, marketers, vehicle owners, motorcyclists when the Commerce Minister convoy engaged operators of stores at the Duport Road Market.
During his visit to ascertain the actual cost they were selling their rice, it was realized that the prices of the leading commodity have gone skyrocketed. Minister Wilson, speaking to the Heritage during the tour, reaffirmed that sufficient rice is in country, noting that it is unfortunate for rice dealers to be involved in “criminal acts” at the detriment of the masses.
He maintained that there is no rice shortage in the country, asserting that there is sufficient rice in stores and at the Free Port of Liberia.He asserted that there are some rice dealers who are causing the increase in the price of rice due to their “selfish political aims”.
"There are few business people who want to cause problem to our people. We are here to dismantle their wrong. This is criminal in nature," said the minister further asserted.“Some of these business owners are keeping the rice in their warehouses making it to look like they do not have sufficient rice in their stores just so they can hike the price to 4.50 cent. This is criminal and must stop," added the minister.
Meanwhile, areas the minister and team toured included Duport Road Community, Thinkers Village and the popular Commercial Area of Red Light.