By Jefferson D. Tweh
The National Port Authority has denied report circulating in the Liberian Media that mass corruption is rife in the Freeport of Monrovia, and that the Port Authority is not doing the right thing to adequately satisfy customers’ needs and wants.
According to the NPA release, the activities at the Freeport of Monrovia is due to the APM Terminals concession that took over the operations at the port in February 2011 and not overseeing activities leading to the clearing of containers, but provides conduit for Concessioners, Shipping lines, Customers’ Brokers and Truckers to do business.
However, the NPA bitterly denied that she did not involve with any business arrangement taking place between the importers and service providers shipping lines, Custom Brokers and Truckers; therefore cannot be blamed for whatever happened in interim.
However, NPA did not explain how much money Mr. Jonathan Wulah Jr. spent during the clearing of his goods at the Port, rather said they are no longer controlling Cargo handling activities leading to the clearing of containers again.
A Liberian Businessman based in United States of America (USA), General Manager of Jonathan Supplies Business, Mr. Jonathan B. Wulah Jr. says he is highly frustrated about the mass corruption taking place in the Freeport of Monrovia and that he maintains his position in lieu of what is happening to various customers at such a prestigious Port of Entry.
Mr. Wulah told this paper that he brought a 44-foot container in Liberia and after his goods had spent one month in the Freeport of Monrovia, he paid US$9,000.00 just to clear his goods from the port.
“I am disappointed because corruption at the Freeport of Monrovia is very rampant and that it is far from being minimized because, everything there is money, money; and Port Authority is not doing the right thing to satisfy the customers’ needs and wants. The whole system is corrupt,” Wulah stated.
Mr. Wulah further stated that he is a full member of Liberia Business Association (LBA) and he registered his business entity in Liberia and all his documents are correct but he was not treated well by Freeport Authority, something he described as unfair and unjust to him.
Meanwhile, Mr. Wulah narrated that his business entity does equipment rental and sub contracts and that he is working along with China Union, fixing Bong Mines road on the mat. Based on that he said he decided to bring equipment in the country to help business people and companies but he spent so much money at the Port just to clear his goods and at the end of the day he had to take money from some stakeholders. He stated further that he did not realize any profit from his business.
“My brother, I paid much money to the Port Authority just to clear my goods and I spent the amount of US$9,000.00 just to get my goods from the Freeport of Monrovia,” Mr. Wulah averred.
Mr. Wulah said besides the equipment, he also brought four cars and Port Authority charged him US$1,000.00 for each car without any discount, a situation he considered as a total discouragement for business people.
“I encouraged my colleagues in the United States of America (USA) to come to Liberia and do business but what I experienced was very incredible and disappointing because as he put it, “Corruption in Liberia has become the order of the day to the extent that has even reached its zenith. Everyone wants to chop,” Mr. Wulah disgruntingly said.