-Senator Sherman urges as Senate invites NPA, GT&MS, Chamber of Commerce to give evidence
Members of the Senate comprising over 25 senators sitting on Tuesday, February 5, 2019, unanimously voted to mandate its Committee on Commerce and Industry, Defense, Intelligence and Security to invite the National Port Authority (NPA), Global Tracking and Maritime Solutions Holdings (GT&MS) and the Chamber of Commerce to give evidence about the deal concerning the new cargo tracking regime.
The Senate’s decision came as a result of a communication from Senator Varney Sherman, in which he cited alarming articles in local newspapers about a new cargo tracking regime under consideration by the NPA.
According to Senator Sherman’s communication dated February 4, 2019, the public has been alerted to the new tracking regime by the Liberia Chamber of Commerce, which comprises the Liberia Business Association, Fula Business Association, World Lebanese Cultural Union, Indian Association, Liberia Bankers Association, Custom Brokers Association and many other organizations involved in the country’s Commerce.
“It is my understanding that because of the seriousness of the matter, the Honorable House of Representatives Committee on Contracts, Concessions and Investments has taken charge of it and invited both the NPA and the GT&MS, who are parties to this new cargo tracking regime, to submit themselves to an investigation, because of the economic implications of this cargo tracking regime,” Sherman said.
“The limited research, which I have conducted on this new Cargo Tracking Regime,” Sen. Sherman said, “reveals that as recently as November 2018, the Sierra Leone Ports Authority cancelled a cargo tracking regime it had pursuant to an agreement with the private company.”
In the communication, Sen. Sherman called on his colleagues to take the same initiative as the House of Representatives by having the Senate Committee on Commerce and Industry investigate “into this new cargo tracking regime before it takes effect.”
In mandating the Commerce committee to investigate the matter, Sen. Sherman also urged the Senate to instruct that the NPA, the GT&MS Holdings and the Liberia Chamber of Commerce be invited to give evidence.
“I further urge you to have the Committee on Commerce interdict and prohibit the agreement, which the NPA and the Global Tracking & Maritime Solutions Holdings have entered into pending the conclusion of the Senate’s inquiry into this matter,” Sen. Sherman said.