Monrovia- Two Executive Orders by President George Weah address crucial national issues related to citizen security and well-being. The President signed Executive Orders #113 banning import tariffs on rice and #114 creating the West African Police Information System on Friday, January 6, 2023. (WAPIS).
Executive Order #113 was issued in response to Executive Order #105’s expiration and the government’s commitment to ensuring that the costs of some essential goods on the market are reasonable and do not place an undue burden on the nation’s citizens.
The President declares that the Liberian government, in an effort to continue providing relief to the populace, has issued Executive Order #113, suspending import duties on rice that falls under tariff numbers 1005.30.00 (in packing of more than 5kg or in bulk), 1006.30.00 (in packing of at least 5kg), and 1006.40.00 (broken rice) under the Revenue Code of Liberia Act, with immediate effect.
The Liberian Chief Executive added that the issuance of Executive Order #113 follows an examination and evaluation of the causes of price increases in a number of strategic commodities, including rice, by the Liberian government with the aim of resolving the issue. According to President Weah, the government has determined that it is necessary to stop “the ongoing increase in the price of rice, in order to make it affordable for the public to purchase,” as a result of the assessment’s results.
The Liberian Leader also maintains that “exigent actions” are required to achieve the desired goals of reducing the financial burden on the country’s citizens and residents and enabling access to rice, the primary food, and that such measures cannot wait for drawn-out legislative processes.
President Weah has issued Executive Order #114 establishing the West African Police Information System (WAPIS) initiative. He claimed that the action is in accordance with an ECOWAS directive from December 12, 2017, that all member states support the WAPIS program. He added that the WAPIS program is implemented in the sub-region by Liberia, a member of the International Criminal Police Investigation.
“Whereas, the government of Liberia intends to establish a National electronic Police Information System to be shared by the National Law Enforcement Agencies in Liberia as part of the WAPIS initiative,” the Executive Order declares. The primary goal of the WAPIS program is to improve communication and cooperation between local law enforcement organizations.
The Executive Order is in line with an MOU that was signed on December 17, 2018, between the government of Liberia and the International Criminal Police Investigation (INTERPOL), as well as the fact that the necessary status has not yet approved the actions and activities that would have enabled the WAPIS program to be operationalized in Liberia.
A National Steering Committee, or WANACO, has been established to oversee the WAPIS program’s operations in accordance with Executive Order #114. The WAPIS program is under the purview of the Executive Branch of Government, reporting directly to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General. According to the Executive Order, WAPIS will have its headquarters in the Liberia National Police building in Monrovia.
Reported by: Joseph N. Kerkula
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