The new management of the National Port Authority (NPA) says there has been immense progress made since they were appointed by President George Manneh Weah to run the institution.
Speaking on behalf of the management team at a press conference over the weekend, NPA Acting Managing Director, Celia Cuffy Brown said much has been achieved within the last four months since they (other top managerial staffs) were charged with the responsibility to rebrand the institution and make it function in the interest of the citizenry.
She said, unlike in the past where the NPA was not contributing anything to the revenue generation of the country, though it controls the gateway of the nation’s economy, the institution now stands ready to fully contribute millions to the country’s annual budget.
According to the NPA Acting Managing Director, as part of their hundred day’s deliverables, they have revisited a major contractual agreement which was signed between the Government of Liberia and APM Terminals.
APM Terminals is an international Cargo-handling company that is operating at the Freeport of Monrovia.
She claimed upon their appointment as heads of the NPA, the agreement signed between the Government of Liberia and APM Terminals was not in the interest of the people.
Madame Brown stated that the US$7 million that was being generated annually by APM Terminals through the marine operations, with the port benefiting only US$4,000 yearly robs the port of the needed revenue and further undermines government’s agenda to impact the lives of the poor.
Chapter 7.6 of the 2010 concession agreement between the Liberian Government and APM Terminals, APM Terminals allowed the Cargo Handling Company, APM Terminals to operate the Marines Operations of the port for five years only, something that prompted the current Management of the port to demand the turnover of the Marine operations after unsuccessful attempts by past management.
APM Terminals has operated the marine services for seven years plus and beyond the five years in the agreement and has generated over US$38 million while the Liberian government through the port has only received US$28,000 out of this amount in royalty.
But as part of their hundred days deliverables, the NPA acting boss said, they have succeeded in signing a new deal with the management of APM Terminals.
“We thanked the President of the Republic of Liberia, President George Manneh Weah who was very instrumental in making us succeed on this deal. During the negotiation process it was difficult but yet we were able to agree on key things that we think will help this country and its people,” she averred.
Madam Cuffy- Brown noted that both the management of APM Terminals and NPA have among other things, finally agreed that the Government of Liberia will receive 15% in royalty and both institutions will this time around share equally (50% –