Vice President Boakai Impressed with NPA Operations

Wednesday, 24th February 2010
Monrovia, Liberia - Liberia’s Vice President Joseph N. Boakai says he is impressed with the reforms taking place at the National Port Authority (NPA).

“Believe you me, I saw a lot of things that I didn’t know were happening; and good things too; and I am very much impressed. I see this country moving in a very good direction,” Vice President Boakai told journalists at the Freeport of Monrovia Wednesday.

He was speaking following a tour of the Freeport of Monrovia, to acquaint himself with its operations.

Vice President Boakai was guided on the tour by NPA Managing Director Matilda Parker and other officials of the NPA management.
“The port as you know is the gateway to the economy, and the better the port is, the better our economy moves, especially as we have all these companies coming in..,” he further observed.

He said to ensure “brighter future prospects for the country, the port needs to be positioned in a way that we can see things moving so as to give hope to the country’s economy”.

Earlier during a brief presentation, Madam Parker briefed the Vice President about strides her administration was making to make the port more efficient  port and it put on par with other ports around the world.

She cited the establishment of the “One Stop Shop’, where customers can go and clear their goods in one, thus averting delays in clearing goods for which the port was noted in the past.

Madam Parker also took the Vice President to the Control Room where cameras have been installed to monitor movements in and out of the port to detect theft and other unwholesome acts that the port was vulnerable to in the past.

According to Madam Parker, under the Port Sector Reform, better cargo handling and container handling are being crafted. She added that under the Port Sector Reform, a fire truck has been acquired while fire extinguishers will be installed at the Monrovia and Buchanan ports in order to be International Port Security compliant.

In the same vein, she added, internet services will be installed at these ports to ensure effective monitoring of their operations.

According to Madam Parker, the Port of Greenville which is completely damaged will be rehabilitated and log loaders provided to help loggers load their logs on ships.

“As part of contract for Port Security Reform, we will have to urgently dredge the Ports of Monrovia, Greenville and Harper and the required security equipment provided,” she said adding, “These are things that we have to invest in as we move on in becoming a more efficient country”.

She disclosed that a team comprising the NPA, Ministry of Finance and Ministry has been constituted to chart a course for trading across borders. She further added that in order to improve the efficiency of clearing items, her administration plans to light up the port in 30 days  with the help of the Liberia Electricity Corporation, noting that it is “against international standards for the port to be dark at night. The port is supposed to be alight at night as it is in the day”.