Liberian New Leader Speaks On Several Vital Issues

By Patrick K. Wrokpoh


The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted October 16, 2003

The Chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL), Charles Gyude Bryant says his government will initiate policies that would ensure that effective 1st November, 2003, the hardship facing the Liberian people is reduced.

He added that as a consequence in the reduction of the price of petroleum products, the cost of transportation will be reduced, stressing that the public will be duly informed. Chairman Bryant’s comments were contained in his maiden address delivered to the Liberian people shortly after he was inducted into office by Chief Justice Gloria Musu Scott as Chairman of the NTGL.

Addressing a cross section of Liberians, foreign diplomats as well as visiting African heads of states among others, that attended the occasion, Chairman Bryant said from studies conducted in various sectors of the Liberian economy, the prices of a 100lb bag of rice, a gallon of gasoline, kerosene and diesel fuel are unnecessarily too high.

He said the high prices of these commodities have negatively impacted on the lives of the Liberian people, stressing that such is unacceptable.

Speaking further, Chairman Bryant frowned on the levies placed on the importation of barrels and cartons that are brought into the country by non-resident Liberians for their families and friends.
He said the imposition of levies on barrels and cartons were adding unnecessary hardship on the people and as such, ordered that effective immediately, there shall be no levies on barrels and cartons containing personal effects and relief supplies sent to Liberians from abroad.

Commenting on monopolies in the Liberian economies, Chairman Bryant who arrived in the country Monday from Accra, Ghana, said the comprehensive peace agreement decries monopolies.
He said in implementing those provisions of the peace agreement, there shall be no monopolies on rice, petroleum and other commodities, stressing that the market will be free, open and competitive.
On the issue of free movement for all Liberians, Chairman Bryant said the Liberian constitution guarantees the free movement of all Liberians.

He said the comprehensive Accra peace agreement accentuates such a principle as evidenced by a free people.

Accordingly, Chairman Bryant, said the requirement for the exit visa is henceforth abolished.
He used the occasion to uphold, protect and defend the Liberian constitution and the peace agreement, stressing that his government will take the constitution seriously and be governed by it in all his policies and actions. He promised to encourage good governance and exercise of freedom of speech and of the press, which according to him constitutes one of the basic tenets of good governance.

Chairman Bryant then disclosed that to promote good governance he had appointed Unity Party’s Standard-bearer Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as head of a Good Governance Commission.

Earlier, outgoing President Moses Blah commended all those groups and individuals that contributed to the peace process by brokering the peace agreement.

He promised to fully support the process and urged Liberians to put violence away by charting a new course. He said although his tenure was short what matters was, the quality of making sure that peace returns to the people.

During the ceremony, the 51st National Legislative Assembly under Speaker Nyundueh Mokormana was dissolved after a motion was entertained across the floor among the 56 lawmakers that attended the program.

Then Bomi County Senator Mohammed Dukuly made the move to dissolve the body and it was seconded by Senator Marie McKintosh of Montserrado County.

Out of the 56 lawmakers present, only Grand Bassa County’s Senator J. Baryogar Junius opposed to the dissolution.

© 2003: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.