The Coalition of Youths and Students for A Better Liberia has taken Deputy National Port Authority (NPA) Managing Director for Operations, David F. Williams, to task for announcing the installation of Navigational Aids at the Port of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, without recognizing people who started the work.
The coalition observed that the recent press conference hosted by Mr. Williams to announce the installation of Aids to Navigation and the subsequent launch of a 24/7 operation at the Buchanan Port did not mention the initiative of former NPA managing director, Matilda Parker.
The national secretary general of the coalition, Joseph Deema, in a statement issued over the weekend, said the 24/7 operation commenced in 2013 when ArcelorMittal Liberia bought the first Aids to Navigation for the Port of Buchanan. “Unfortunately, it was reportedly stolen by some unknown persons.
“This is evidence for the mere fact that ArcelorMittal Liberia and people within the very NPA can attest that the 24/7 operations started in Buchanan two years ago.”
He said the steel giant has on numerous occasions installed Aids to Navigation at strategic points along the breakwaters, but they were often damaged or stolen by suspected thieves in Buchanan, thus hampering the company’s 24/7 operational plans.
According to the coalition, this prompted NPA management, under suspended Managing Director, Matilda W. Parker, to increase security presence at Buchanan Port to protect the Aids to Navigation and other assets of the port.
The group said that following the purchase of another set of Aids to Navigation by ArcelorMittal Liberia in 2013, a team of NPA staff led by Armett Hill, the Harbor Master, conducted a final assessment of the Aids to Navigation installed by ArcelorMittal Liberia in May of the same year.
The assessment was conducted during night hours and the team reported that the visual assessment of the lights characteristics concluded that all basic requirements for Aids to Navigation had been met for 24-hour pilotage operations.
The student group has visited all the seaports of Liberia including Greenville, Harper and Buchanan and therefore, was pleased with Mr. Williams, but differed with him for not recognizing the role of his predecessor, Madam Parker.