President Sirleaf Meets With Church Officials and the Management of the N.P.A.

Tuesday, 18th September 2007
Monrovia, Liberia - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the Management of the National Port Authority have met with the Liberian Council of Churches to exchange ideas geared towards facilitating the timely clearance of goods from the Freeport of Monrovia.

The President emphasized that it was vital to acquaint government with difficulties faced by churches in the importation and clearance of goods at the Freeport of Monrovia. According to an Executive Mansion release, the President spoke of the need to institute measures that would address problems church groups continue to experience at the Freeport. The Liberian leader expressed governmentís desire to ensure that the support received by Liberians from religious institutions continues. The President urged the Liberian Council of Churches to liaise with the Finance Ministry for the smooth implementation of regulations governing the importation and clearance of goods under terms and conditions set by government.

Speaking on behalf of the Council, Methodist Bishop Rev. Dr. John Innis spoke of the high cost of duty on supplies brought into the country and called on government to institute measures to address the situation.

For his part, National Port Authority Managing Director George Tubman suggested that the Council of Churches organize a clearing house where Bills of Laden will be cleared. The measure, Mr. Tubman suggested, will ease the difficulties often experienced by churches in clearing their supplies.

The NPA Managing Director assured the President and church leaders that his management is working to put in place measures to address past bottlenecks. Mr. Tubman also acknowledged the long stay of containers in the Port prior to clearance by owners and expressed the hope that solutions can be found to the problem.