Vice President Boakai Lauds Firestone

Saturday, 24th January 2009

Monrovia, Liberia - The Vice President of Liberia, His Excellency Joseph N. Boakai, has lauded the management of Firestone Plantation Company for the strides it has made in improving living conditions at the plantation since the inception of the Unity Party-led Government.

“This is the kind of partnership we require of investors, as we strive to improve the living conditions of our people,” the Vice President said.

He was speaking on January 23 following a one-day visit to the Firestone Rubber Plantation Company in Margibi County. During the visit, Vice President Boakai toured the Du-Side Hospital in Division #45, the company’s rubber wood factory and the newly constructed Harbel Market.

The Vice President applauded Firestone Management’s desire to transform the Du-Side Hospital into one of the best medical centers in West Africa, adding,”This is what this Government wants them to do, because our priority as leaders is to seek the welfare of our people.”

The Vice President said he was also impressed with the new rubber wood processing plant where old rubber wood is  processed for export to the United States and Malaysia. He, however, said he would like to see a workshop set up at the plant for the manufacture of furniture:  "We need to utilize our local resources. We don’t need to import furniture with all the resources at our disposal.”

Vice President Boakai hailed the new Harbel Market as a model to be replicated in other parts of the country. He, however, called for the construction of toilets, a day care center, clinic, children’s playground, entertainment center and other facilities on the market grounds to make it self-contained.

At a reception held in his honor at the new Harbel Market, the Liberian Vice President informed the marketers that the intention of the Unity Party-led Government is to see Liberian marketers engage in large-scale businesses like importing the nation’s staple rice, oil and onions, among others, rather than perpetually restricting themselves to buying and selling bitter balls, palm oil and pepper.

Vice President Boakai promised to help marketers access the micro-finance loan scheme run by the Foundation for Women.  In remarks, the Superintendent of Margibi County, Honorable Levi Piah, and the Superintendent of the Harbel Market, Madam Esther Konasu, thanked President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Vice President Boakai for the changes they have brought to the Liberia Marketing Association.