Dr. Alexander Nuetahn (Facebook)

Claims: 1. The ban on Rubber didn’t start under George Weah ( 2:07:48 mins)

           2. Liberia has four Rubber Processors (2:13:02 mins)

On May 2, Dr. Alexander Nuetahn, Liberia’s Agriculture Minister, made these claims while appearing on Spoon TV, where he was interviewed.

Since there are two claims, we will fact-check them one at a time.

 Unarguably, rubber has been one of the major sources of Liberia’s revenue income, with the sector serving as one of the job markets for many Liberians.

Ex-President George Weah issued an Executive Order banning the export of unprocessed natural rubber from Liberia until otherwise advised.

Dated November 23, 2023, the Executive Order said unprocessed natural rubber shall be defined as the raw material tapped from rubber trees, not having gone through any processing to change its physical or chemical composition.

The order further said that the rubber sector of Liberia has been greatly affected by abuse, misuse, and theft over the period. Therefore, to curb the situation, the government believes that further strategy is necessary so that proper policies can be developed and an appropriate institutional and regulatory framework can be established to curb retrogression, sustain the development of the industry, and stimulate growth.

It is noted that the Executive Order was intended to eliminate what the government called “the misuse of government resources and all other corrupt practices.”

The Order also noted that the rubber industry was part of the state economy, providing the highest single source of annual revenue for the government and at the same time providing more employment opportunities for Liberians in the country.

“NOW, THEREFORE, to take immediate steps to curb the decline in the Liberian rubber industry until appropriate policies and frameworks can be put in place to improve the situation of the rubber industry in the longer term to ensure redevelopment, new development, increased production, increased job opportunities, and increased revenue to the government, it is hereby ordered as follows.” The order stated.

Again, President Sirleaf issued Executive Order No. 60 to replace Executive Orders No. 16 and 50 banning the exportation of unprocessed natural rubber from the country.

As a result, to reinforce Executive Orders No. 16, 50, and 60 issued by former President Sirleaf, the government of Liberia under President George Manneh Weah issued Executive Order No. 124 in 2023 banning the exportation of unprocessed natural rubber due to the gross abuse, absolute misuse, and rampant stealing of unprocessed natural rubber, and the subsequent exportation of it with no benefit to the government and people of Liberia.

Conclusion: Correct, former President George Weah was not the first to ban rubber exports in Liberia.

 The Firestone Natural Rubber Company (Bridgestone Corporation) has the largest concession plantations in Margibi County. Firestone has operated in Liberia since 1926, with a 99-year license (ending in 2025) for 404 thousand hectares of land, and it now occupies around 61.9 thousand hectares.

Jeety Rubber Factory is a US$25 million processing factory in Margibi County that produces tyres in Liberia. It is being built on 132,000 square feet of land in Margibi City.

Liberia Agriculture Company (LAC), was created by the government in 1959 and later purchased by Uniroyal. Started in 1961, the company developed a 7,000-hectare rubber plantation there. And the Lee group was opened in 2009.

Conclusion: Even though the RPAL corroborated the claim of the Agricultural Minister that there are four rubber processing plants in Liberia, we found this article that named more than four rubber processing plants in Liberia.


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