MONROVIA, Montserrado – President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has placed a sixty-day moratorium on traveling out of the country by government officials.
Those affected by the president’s travel moratorium include the heads of ministries, agencies, and commissions, along with their deputies and assistants.
The ban comes in the wake of protests by business owners concerning the economic difficulties in the country and the impact of recent tax increases.
Sirleaf is expected to only grant exceptions for travel following a one-on-one meeting with those wishing to travel. If it is determined that such travel is of utmost importance to the national interest, the traveling suspension will be lifted for that individual.
The president’s office did not state how much the government would be able to save from the moratorium on travel.
Meanwhile, a scheduled meeting for this week, in an effort to engage in continuing dialogue about ways to improve the critical business climate in the country, is expected between President Sirleaf, members of the Chamber of Commerce, Liberia Business and Marketing Association and other stakeholders in the business community.
Recently, a group called the Patriotic Entrepreneurs of Liberia staged a three-day protest in the wake of the rising inflation and high levels of taxes and duties levied on commodities.
Another concern of the group was the accelerating depreciation of the Liberian Dollar against the US Dollar.
The protests have prompted President Sirleaf to promise an “economic management team meeting” to address the concerns of the business community, according to a press release from the Executive Mansion.
“She, however, expressed concerns over the protest by some members of the business community, but was quick to note that some of the people involved in the protest were also part of the problem because according to her some of the very business people who even closed their shops and stores in protest were engaged in hoarding the U.S dollars,” the release read.
Featured photo courtesy of Gbatemah Senah