By: Anthony Q. Jiffan, Jr.
The Patriotic Entrepreneur of Liberia has sent out a notice of an impending protest by the Liberian Business Community slated for early June, 2021 against the National Legislature for its alleged failure to act in the interest of the Business community. .
The news of the planned protest was broken by the President of PATEL, Mr. Dominic Nimely who said there are a number of defects in some agreements the national legislature signed with that are not in the interest of the Liberian people and if the body cannot right the wrongs to get the citizens from the economic quagmire they found themselves, the Business Community will shut down the capitol building and deny lawmakers entry.
Mr. Nimely said the inability of the Legislature to exercise its oversight responsibility has led to the alleged refusal of shipping companies to adhere to the recent joint stakeholders’ resolution signed between APM Terminals and the Liberian business community.
It can be recalled that a joint stakeholders’ resolution was recently signed between the Port Truckers Association, Dock Workers Union of Liberia, National Patriotic Entrepreneur of Liberia, Liberia Business Association and the National Customs Brokers Association of Liberia with the Management of APM Terminals.
The resolution which was also witnessed by National Port Authority Managing Director, Bill Twehway, Commerce Minister, Mawine Diggs, Liberia Revenue Authority Commissioner General, Thomas Doe-Nah and Assistant Labor Minister for Trade Union and Social Dialog, Gonsan-Zeo Mensahamong things was intended to halt the Go-Slow action.
Addressing a major news conference over the weekend in Monrovia, the PATEL boss termed as deceitful and unfortunate for shipping lines to act contrary to the resolution, adding that all concerned parties were invited but refused to form part of the decision signing process; an agreement the Finance Supervisor, Miditerranean Shipping Company, Mr. Adolphus Glaydor refuted of ever being invited to.
He also described as frustrating and disgrace, recent statement made by Nimba County District Five Representative, Samuel Kogar that GTMS (one of the companies) is not operating in line with their contract signed with the Liberian government.
Nimely stressed that Liberians across the country continue to suffer unnecessarily at the hands of foreign business operators because Legislators do not know their ethics and three cardinal responsibilities.
Nimely further alleged that Global Maritime Tracking Services (GMTS) has always exercised the power to fine Liberian business owners; something he said the Liberian Legislature should take sieze of and bring the companies involved to check.
He called on the national government to immediately cut-off the contract signed with GMTS and asked the company to leave the country, stressing that it is endangering the lives of Liberians across the country.
He also warned that regardless of the contract signed in the past, the management of APM Terminals and other companies operating in the country must respect the Liberian government.
The PATEL President at the same time indicated that due to the refusal to accept Liberian Dollars as means of transaction by the Management of APM Terminals, other companies operating at the FreePort of Monrovia have taken the same path which has necessitated PATEL to call on the Ministry of Commerce to give Liberian businesses back to Liberians.
Meanwhile, according to the joint stakeholders’ resolution, the APM Terminals, Shipping Lines and National Port Authority waived all shortage, demurrage and overnight fees accrued by shippers from April 29, 2021 to May 5, 2021 due to the Go-Slow, adding that APM Terminals was not operating at the time, adding that parties impacted by the clearance of backlogs and are facing challenges are advised to notify the Ministry of Commerce.