15 February 2018

Liberia: House to Probe Maritime Authority

The Plenary of the House of Representatives has mandated the Committees on Maritime and Judiciary to investigate claims that the Liberian Seafarers and the Port Workers Union are gradually collapsing and leaving Liberians jobless.

The Lawmakers reached the conclusion during the Tuesday, February 13, 2018 Session based on a communication from Rep. Samuel G. Kogar of Nimba County District #5.

Rep, Kogar told his colleagues that in 2012, the Commissioner of the Liberian Maritime Authority, Binyah Kesselly promised 10,000 jobs within five years and contribute US$120m into the country's economy, but said promises, Rep. Kogar said have not been implemented and is seeking the timely intervention of the House of Representatives.

Rep. Kogar acknowledged his colleagues that it is important to note that the Liberian Registry which is managed by the Liberian International Ship and Corporate Registry (LISCR, LLC) a United States owned and operated company, reported on its website that the Liberian Registry has more than 4,170 registered vessels which is 12% of the world ocean going fleet and but the country still has discouraging number of Liberia Seafarers on board of some of the vessels.

According to him, only the Legislature can find remedy to the port workers and Seafarers situation, according to him, the situation has caused more Liberians to go out of job.

"Excluding the flow of revenues to the central budget; Liberians have benefited relatively little from the maritime sector in that ships flying Liberian Flag are expected to employ Liberian nationals, but that is not always the case according to the Liberian Seafarers and Port Workers Union, thus resulting to the collapse of their potentials." He asserted.

Following the reading and floor discussion on the matter, Plenary mandated the Committees on Maritime and Judiciary to probe the concern raised by the Nimba Lawmaker and report within two weeks.

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