Liberia with a population of less than four million has an economy that is largely controlled by Lebanese, Indians, Nigerians, Fulas, and Chinese, with less Liberian participation and involvement. Against this backdrop a group of Liberia professionals, businessman and citizens have embarked on a national campaign named as “Liberia First Movement”, which according to them seeks to halt an age-old foreign expansionism and domination of the country’s economy.
Speaking to reporters recently at a local restaurant downtown, the chairman of the group Cllr. Sayrenius Cephus pointed out that the institution is not a political party but a mass democratic movement which seeks the promotion and empowerment of Liberians taking over the country economy. Liberia First Movement, Cllr. Cephus noted, represents a new idea which requires involvement of citizens to fully compete with and overtake the country’s economy from foreigners against conditions and clauses that most times imprison the businesses of Liberian entrepreneurs. “Stores, skyscrapers, hotels are owned by Lebanese, Indians, Fulani, while the night security guards for these properties are Liberian citizens who must remain awake for these properties to be protected and for these people and their families to sleep sound,” Cllr. Cephas stated. According to him the foreign businessmen who have taken over the country’s economy are the ones who determine increase or decrease in prices of goods and commodities on the Liberian market, noting that said attitude has turned Liberians into beggars. “It’s time for Liberians to say enough is enough and work hard to make this dream a reality, and that decision or choice that you will make to change Liberia to a new attitude will bring the economy in your hand. Sitting on the fence and complaining is not the solution anymore,” he said. At the same time he frowns at politicians and political leaders who had refused to look at core issues which affect the lives and progress of the people. He then used the occasion to call on the government of Liberia and stakeholders to promote and empower Liberian entrepreneur, adding if government continues to remain silent in protecting the interest of Liberians the country’s economy will be overrun by foreigners.