The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Japan Donates Rice To Liberia

By Bill W. Cooper
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry Minister, Wilson K. Tarpeh has disclosed that the Japanese government has given the government of Liberia a consignment of 30 kilo of 5,109 metric tons of rice estimated at 231 million Japanese yen, at which time it was 130 yen to a dollar that is expected to be on sale soon.
He said that prior to the arrival of the rice about two weeks ago, a bid was put out by the secretariat and two firms were vetted with Futal Cooperation and UCI selected to be the sole distributors of the rice, which is to be sold for US$10.50.
Speaking with scores of journalists yesterday, December 3, 2019 at his Commerce Ministry office in Monrovia, the Commerce boss narrated that the 5,109 metric tons arrived and short landed by 87 metric tons, which brought the total net tonnage to 5,106, stressing that the consignment that was brought unlike the regular consignment which has 25 kilo bags, is 30 kilo, which is 1.2 times the regular 25 kilo.
According to him, the government is to sell that rice and deposit 21/3 of the amount of 231 million Japanese yen which comes up to 154 million yen or at the time of the calculation, approximately LD$214,340,482 as per the agreement that was signed with the Japanese government to be put in a designated account for government projects.
“Of the 5,109 tons that came, 87 were damaged and the total we have is the 5,000 tons less than 5,109. When we take that into the number of bags, it’s about 62-63 bags per ton given the 30 kilo per bag and it came to the total of 170,000 bags and 2,900 of that were damaged, and so that brought the reaming ones to approximately 167, bags that are now available and will be on the market in the next two days as per the President’s mandate,” the MOC Minister disclosed.
Meanwhile, Prof. Tarpeh has said that the price of a bag of rice on the Liberian market is still sold at US$13.50 and has been like that since February 2018, adding that the price of rice has not changed but what has changed is the Liberian dollar rate and said that since the reduction in the exchange rate, the MOC expected the prices of rice and other basic comedies to drop.
He further stated that sufficient gasoline is on the Liberian market, as the government has inducted the international standard called the ‘warrant plight’ in international formula to price petroleum products. He said that the government is trying to sit with the petroleum importers to find out what the cost associated with the price gallon of fuel or gasoline.
Prof. Tarpeh stressed that they do it on a monthly basis as their last meeting was in October and the price of gasoline was US$3.21 and the rate adopted at the time was LD210 to US$1, as for fuel oil, it was US$3.80 at LD210 and are anticipating the prices to drop as they are having a meeting this week to review the plight consistent with their approach to meet once every month.

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