By Morrison O.G. Sayon
Contrary to recent media report that the United Commodities Incorporated (UCI) has completely gone out of business, the management of the Corporation has sharply reacted to the report saying that the Corporation is more fortified than before as it will continue its business activities with no hindrance.
Speaking to journalists yesterday in Monrovia, Mr. Anwar Ezzeddine, Chief Executive Officer of UCI, clarified that information reported in the media that the company is out of business is false, misleading and has no iota of truth.
Mr. Ezzeddine said, “UCI is still functioning, and still doing business.” He added that the Corporation is still importing rice something that contradicts recent media report that UCI is no longer doing business in the country.
Ezzeddine disclosed that presently a shipment of 32,994.82 metric tons of rice have arrived in the country to supply the nation’s staple diet on the Liberian market. “The information that UCI is no longer bringing rice in the country is false. They also alleged that I’m using my influence as Honorary Consul to import rice; that is also false because since my appointment I’ve not resumed any duty due to the crisis in Lebanon and other obstacles that need to be settled,” Mr. Ezzeddine said.
Recently, it was reported in a local daily that major suppliers of rice from several Asian countries are considering terminating business with importers from Liberia because one of the country’s major importers of the product, the United Commodities Incorporated (UCI) has allegedly duped suppliers of tens of millions of United States Dollars.
The paper further reported quoting reliable sources that the CEO of UCI, Mr. Ezzeddine has been craftily duping several international suppliers of rice by manipulating a credit arrangement known as a Collateral Management Agency (CMA), among other allegations.
But the Corporation through its CEO, Ezzeddine has denied the allegation terming same as a mere propaganda being perpetuated by some hidden hands that are also interested in the importation of rice on the Liberian market. He said DRUM, an international company based in England is still doing business with UCI and that the company has a contract with the UCI to monitor, supervise stocks through its representatives on the ground.
To prove his critics wrong according to Mr. Ezzeddine, a vessel containing 32,994.82 metric tons of rice which amounts to 1,319,793 bags of rice has docked at the Freeport of Monrovia for off-loading in the coming days. According to the Original Delivery Order obtained by journalists yesterday, the consignment of 1.3 bags of rice was brought in from India to Liberia onboard the M.V. Al Mukhtar on September 11, 2015.
Journalists who visited the offices of UCI yesterday saw thousands of bags of rice lined up in the ware houses of the Corporation with the huge M.V. Al Mukhtar vessel ready to be off loaded at the Freeport of Monrovia.