NPA To Reclaim Lucrative APM Terminals Deal
The acting Managing Director of the National Port Authority (NPA), Cecelia Cuffey-Brown, has disclosed that the agreement for the management of Marine Services at the Freeport of Monrovia that APM Terminals signed with the NPA management has elapsed and the firm is about to give back the Services it managed for five years.
Madam Cuffey-Brown said the APM Terminals contract to manage the Marine Services ended in 2016, and that the NPA will now reclaim the service to enable it provide more jobs for Liberians so that “they will be able to have a decent life and give their children better education.”The APM Terminals in 2011 signed a 5-year agreement with the Government of Liberia to manage the storage facility, under which the company was authorized to operate the Marine Services and Weigh Bridge aspects of the Port for five years.
Addressing the regular MICAT press briefing Thursday, Madam Cuffey-Brown said, since the agreement was consummated, APM Terminals has generated US$38 million of which the NPA received only US$28,000, a figure Madam Coffey-Brown described as “an insult to the Liberian people.”
“APM Terminals could further refund to the NPA the sum of US$2 million for operating the Marine Services for an additional non-contractual period of two years,” she said.
The NPA appears to be dissatisfied over the alleged refusal of APM Terminals to train Liberians in Marine Services, instead, “it hired a third-party firm to oversee the sector.”
Meanwhile, the NPA acting Managing Director has averred that since taking office in January, one of the key steps Management has taken was to improve the working conditions of workers s at the Freeport of Monrovia and NPA outstation ports.
She named the abolition of the age-old tendency of hiring people as “casual laborers or daily workers,” some of whom have stayed with the port for 25 years or more.
At the same time, the NPA boss has evaluated records of the overstayed daily workers and subsequently given them the status of contractors and full-time employees, where applicable.
Madam Cuffey-Brown also told journalists that the NPA Management, in the spirit of the President George Weah-led Pro-poor agenda, has elected to employ people who are domiciled in the locations of the outstation ports including Greenville, Harper and Buchanan.LINA JRC/WSG/TSS/PTK