Liberia: Raising Taxes At the Expense of the Poor - the Audacity of APM Terminals in Liberia


APM TERMINAL is pouring misery on struggling Liberians barely getting by.

THE SHIPPING COMPANY RECENTLY took the unpopular decision to increase charges of its services at the Free Port of Monrovia, announcing a whopping 9.67 percent increment on all current charges of its services at the Free Port.

WE ARE APPALLED at the audacity of APM Terminal's flimsy explanation that the increment was in line with its concession agreement with the government of Liberia which allows a 2021 tariff adjustment using predefined formula.

SADLY, THE JUMP in taxes comes on the back of another increment in 2020 and 2019, which has seen the company's terminal handling charges increased significantly.

LAST WEEK, the Plenary of the House of Representatives mandated its specialized committee probing into the operation of APM Terminals in Liberia to submit reports of its findings, which include a comparative analysis of the company's operations in Liberia and the Republic of Ghana.

THE PLENARY ACTION was spurred by Rep. Matthew Joe (District #4, Grand Bassa County), who proffered a communication to the plenary, seeking its indulgence to invite the management of APM Terminals and the Freeport of Monrovia to appear and give detail reasons why the company continues to increase tariff amid the economic hardship grappling Liberians.

FROM ALL INDICATION, the concession with APM terminals was bad from the start.

IN OCTOBER 2010, the Dutch company signed a 25‐year concession agreement for the operation of the Port, having been named the preferred bidder for the port management and modernization project.

AT THE TIME, the agreement resulted in the investment of $120 million USD in the facility over the course of the contract term.

SINCE THE SIGNING however, the nation of more than four million people has been through a hellish period with struggling businesses and Diaspora-based Liberians being forced to cough of millions annually just to ship containers to Liberia.

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