The Managing Director of the National Port Authority (NPA), Madam Matilda Parker, says she envisions a sisterly partnership with the Arab Republic of Egypt. According to Madam Parker, the management of the NPA recognizes the importance of ports operations in Egypt, and therefore wishes for a strong partnership between Liberia and Egypt in the area of port operations.
The NPA boss made these comments on Thursday, February 21, 2013 when the Egyptian Ambassador accredited to Liberia, Sameh Lotfi, paid a visit to the Freeport of Monrovia.
The Freeport of Monrovia is regarded as the gateway to Liberia's economy. During the visit, MD Parker and the Egyptian envoy toured the s facilities of the NPA. Speaking further, MD Parker said: "You do things at your ports that we hope to incorporate into our Liberian port system. One of the things we can gain from you is to create a partnership with your port. We want to learn from you all that you are doing."
As Managing Director of the NPA, Madam Parker said, her first and foremost priority is to get more Liberians trained in the area of port operations. She expressed the hope that Liberia gets such training opportunity from Egypt. She noted that Liberia will have to hire qualified people from elsewhere if Liberians aren't trained in this area. According to her, this is not good for the growth and development of the country.
The NPA boss, who wholeheartedly welcomed Amb. Lofti to the Freeport of Monrovia, stated that she also looks forward to other partnership agreement in the area of construction. She said the NPA needs a partner in the expansion of the APM Terminal area at the Freeport of Monrovia. Also at the Port of Buchanan, she said there is only one berth, and so the NPA needs a partner in the building of another berth. "In Greenville, we have 14 concessions and only one berth. We need more. And so here, there is another construction opportunity. The same at the Port of Harper," Madam Parker stated.
"We look forward that you share this information with Egyptian contractors," she added.
For his part, the Egyptian envoy said the Government of Egypt takes the training of Liberians in this area very seriously.
"Yes, we can train them. This is one of the areas that we will consider and take keen interest in," said Amb. Lotfi.
"We need to be confident; we need be serious and cooperate in the friendship we build. The area of training is one of the many items we will share with Liberia," he added.