In an effort to Improve Operations of Ports and Boost Revenue at the Freeport of Monrovia, Finance & Development Planning Minister Samuel D Tweah Jr, Leads a high power delegation to Dubai for a four-day visit.
During the visit, the Minister of Finance & Development Planning will meet and discuss with the heads of APM Terminal to make available their promise of providing a Gantry Crane at the Freeport of Monrovia. The delegation will also discuss varieties of other issues that will contribute meaningfully to the growth of the Liberian economy.
It can be recall that on July 16, 2019, a meeting with all ports actors was held at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to discuss with key State Actors, issues relative to the revamping of the Freeport of Monrovia.
After the Meeting a Joint resolution was signed by all parties operating in the Freeport of Monrovia to include Shipping Lines, the Custom Brokers Association, APM Terminal, as well as Officials of Government. As part of the resolution APM Terminal agreed to procure a gantry or mobile crane in the next two months, and to put a halt to the increase in Marine fees due to the State of the Economy.
The Lack of a Gantry Crane (A Ship to Shore Crane) has seriously impeded revenue generation at the Freeport of Monrovia, and has caused government to lose million’s in revenue over the years, The Finance Minister asserted.
He said shipping lines have complained of incurring higher cost due to the lack of a ship- to-shore crane at the Freeport. “Most of the Ships coming into the Country have to bring their own Cranes to offload Containers, and this have resulted to Liberia being rank the lowest in terms of discharging of Cargo Vessels due to lack of a Gantry Crane,” he said
Information I have in my possession puts it that with a Gantry Crane, it can take a maximum of twelve hours to offload a container vessels whereas, without one, it will take more than ten days to offload a single Vessel. It will surprise you the public to know that APM Terminal has Gantry Crane in all of their Operations around the World, but only in Liberia they don’t – something that raises more question than answers in terms of the Concession Agreement,” The Finance Ministry boss said
He noted that the only answer to that is that the Former ruling Unity Party led government who sign this agreement with the APM Terminal place greed and Self Interest before the interest of the Country but are the ones making the loudest noise around here referencing this government who is trying so hard to clean the mess they created as being Corrupt, when they broke the Guinness Book record for being the Most Corrupt government on Planet Earth.
What is so Disheartening and Wicked, the Finance Minister said, is that because of Self greed, the former ruling Unity Party signed a USD $125 million dollars agreement with APM Terminal for the Usage of the Freeport of Monrovia and could not mandate them to Procure (Buy) a Gantry Crane which Cost just USD $7 million dollars to offload vessels at the Freeport of Monrovia.
This, according to him, has led to the government loosing over USD $50 million dollars in revenue since the former ruling Unity Party led government sign this agreement with APM Terminal.”
Minister Tweah said he is travelling to Dubai at the time when the country’s Economy is Undergoing a serious Economic Surgery due to both exogenous and endogenous diseases ranging from falling prices of national resources, soaring rate of inflation and depreciation of the local currency, for which .Minister Tweah is doing all in his power to revamp the economy and get it back on Course.
“It is the hope of all of us that this travel by the Liberia best Finance Minister ever Hon Samuel D Tweah Jr and his team will bring some relief to mainly the End-Users of goods and services which is the Liberian people. Those forming part of the delegation along with Minister Tweah includes Minister Wilson Tarpeh Minister of Commerce and Industry, Cllr Musa Dean, Minister of Justice and Hon Bill Tweahway, Managing Director of the National Port Authority,” a statement from the office of the Minister said.