18 February 2013

Liberia: U.S. Envoy Lauds NPA's Efforts

The United States Ambassador accredited to Liberia, Madam Deborah Marlac, has lauded the efforts of the National Port Authority (NPA) for the level of improvement the Freeport of Monrovia has experienced over the last few years.

Ambassador Marlac made the statement when she paid a one-day working visit to the Freeport of Monrovia last Friday. During the US envoy's visit, she held talks with the NPA's management and Board of Directors.

During the meeting, Madam Matilda Parker did a presentation of the NPA's activities She informed the US envoy that the issues of capacity building, instituting a financial system and marine management are the top-notch challenges facing the NPA.

She stressed that there is a need for the purchase of more equipment to enhance the operational capacity of the ports of Liberia.

MD Parker also added that a technological mechanism is being worked on to track containers adding "this would increase the revenue base of the country's port authority".

For his part, Deputy Managing Director for Administration Yekeh Forkpa told the US Envoy that due to the high security system put in place by the NPA management, crime rate has been drastically reduced.

Responding, Ambassador Marlac pointed out that there are many American companies that wants to invest in the ports of Liberia but information on investment opportunities are either scanty or unavailable for potential companies to partake, especially about the bidding processes.

She urged the NPA's management to place emphasis on making information about investment opportunities available on the NPA's website or accessible through other means.

The US envoy added that in this way, American company owners who are interested in investing in Liberia would get involved. "We feel like US companies are left out of investment opportunity here," Amb. Marlac said.

Ambassador Marlac was then taken on a guarded tour of the Freeport of Monrovia to see some of the improved systems instituted by the Liberian government through the NPA.

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