The Management of the National Port Authority (NPA) has reportedly hired the services of four Ghanaian nationals as consults of the entity to be paid at least US$1.3million for a period of six months.
According to sources closed to the office of NPA Managing Director, Madam Matilda W. Parker, the four consultants headed by Mr. Ben Owosu were hired in the areas of Land Tendering, Finance, Operations and Marine services.
Our source further disclosed that the six-month contract was done outside competitive bidding process which contravenes the Public Procurement Concession Commission regulations.
The high placed source also informed this paper that the consultants are currently being shuttered in the premises of Matilda W. Parker in Mamba Point and rental is currently being paid to her personal account by the NPA.
When contacted via mobile, Madam Parker's phone rang endless and did not respond to several text messages sent her. However, the Department of Public Relation at the NPA said the Management will shortly release a statement in connection with the contract, but was not definite on a particular date or time.
Several attempts to get details information from the NPA prove little effort.
The NPA currently plays a land lord role in the administration of the Freeport of Monrovia, while cargo handling and marine services are taken over by APM Terminals.
As it stands, the NPA has embarked on a massive demolition exercise of structures and warehouses within parameters of the Port to make way for the Operations of China Union and Western Cluster Limited.
The two companies will use the Free Port of Monrovia to ship iron ore from the country. The administration of the Madam Parker has also begun negotiating with occupants and leasers within the area to make way for the two concessionaires.
The NPA currently has three deputies, one for legal affairs, operations and administration respectively. Presently, the port doesn't have a Manager, the first time since its establishment.
The hiring of the four Ghanaian consultants suggests that Liberia lacks the trained manpower to carry out such function, one insider noted.
Moreover, the refusal of the NPA to conduct competitive bidding process or request single sourcing from the PPCC remains everyone's wonder.