With a unanimous yea, the Liberian Senate at its 41st day sitting yesterday voted to endorse and passed into law a recommendation from its Committee on Transport for the Concession Agreement between the Government of Liberia and the Global Logistics Services (GLS), Inc. The landmark vote makes GLS the first Liberian company to be granted an operating concession of a major state asset in Liberia’s history.
The concession is a public-private-partnership for air cargo operations at the Roberts International Airport (RIA), and includes the design, finance, build, maintain, operate and transfer (DFBMOT) of a new modern air cargo facility by GLS on the premises. The total capital investment for the project is USD$11 million.
The Senate concurred with the lower house in their understanding of the details and intricacies of the concession agreement, ensuring GLS’s technical and financial capacity merit in granting GLS the operating concession. The concession will improve cargo operations at the airport to international standards and impact the lives of Liberians through employment opportunities, skills and capacity building, international certifications and improvements in the business climate for Liberia.
The Bill for ratification of the agreement was recently sent to the Legislature by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Global Logistics Services Incorporated, is a Liberian owned company incorporated in 2010, and specializes in logistics and procurement services in Liberia.
The company offers services to clients in complex fields such as oil and gas, mining, construction, agriculture and forestry, and shipping.
In a related development, the Senate yesterday received several bills from the House of Representatives, among them an Act to ratify the Concession Agreement between the Government of Liberia and Global Logistics Services (GLS). However, because the Bill was already before the Senate’s committee, it was agreed that decision be based on report from its Transport committee, which was eventually endorsed and concurred with the House of Representatives.
GLS which has been in operations for over 5 years, is a leading Liberian logistics services company with over 43 employees and a client portfolio including UNICEF, UNDP, ArcelorMittal Liberia, ExxonMobil, MonuRent, ICRC, APM Terminals Monrovia, U.S. Embassy, etc. GLS is an investee company of the IFC (World bank Group) through their SME Ventures Fund – West Africa Venture Fund.
The company in 2014, witnessed the gross lack of capacity at the airport to handle much required medication and relief materials required by the dying masses during the Ebola crisis, and was sparked into action to improve the situation.
According to the CEO of GLS, Mr. Peter Malcolm King, there is a need to “take up the challenge of addressing Liberia’s problems by ourselves. At GLS, we saw a problem, and we have moved to develop the aviation supply chain sector for the benefit of the nation”.
Also from the House of Representatives were: An Act to ratify the Investment Incentive Agreement between the Republic of Liberia and RIA Resorts, Inc.; An Act creating the city of Duazon and to grant it charter within the County of Margibi; An Act declaring Bo Geewon Magisterial court within Gboe/Ploe Administrative District in Grand Gedeh County, and an Act to repeal Section 1165 (Mobile Telephone Usage) and to amend Section 1021 (b) (2) of the Revenue Code as amended 2016. Most of them were sent to committee rooms for appropriate actions.
The report from the Joint committee on Labor; Concession & Investment; Agriculture & Fisheries; and Judiciary, Claims, Petitions and Human Rights on the labor abuse case at the Maryland Oil Palm Plantation (MOPP), was again deferred to Tuesday.
Twelve Senators plus Senate Pro-Tempore Armah Zolu Jallah were in attendance at yesterday’s sitting.