Over 15 prodemocracy, youth and student groups honored the NPA boss for her innovative performance and leadership of the NPA. Speaking at a program held in her honor as Managing Director of the Year 2014 in Monrovia on December 23, NPA Managing Director Madam Matilda W. Parker attributed the success to her staff and the Liberian people who, she said, supported the Management over the year amidst the Ebola outbreak.
“I am proud that NPA is Ebola free,” said Madam Parker. She recalled how the Management instituted several stringent measures to protect the port authority’s facilities across the country from being affected by the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak.
Recently, the NPA Management celebrated Zero Ebola cases at its four port facilities in Monrovia, Buchanan, Greenville and Harper with a promised to continuing the enforcement of its anti-Ebola measures.
But Madam Parker noted that it wasn’t an easy task to achieve zero Ebola cases in an environment that employees hundreds of people.
“We put our existing anti-Ebola measures into place and publicized them and we thank God that all of our workers, including top managers, are adhering to those measures,” she said. The port authority of Liberia handles over 80 percent of all goods and services imported into Liberia.
Madam Parker knew that protecting the seaport facilities [the gateway to the Liberian economy] from being affected by the Ebola virus epidemic was critical to the survivability of the population.
“We are aware of the importance of the port authority to the economy and so we are under obligation to secure and protect the port facility,” said the MD.
Among those honoring the NPA boss were the Association of Liberia Pro-democracy Groups, the Liberia National Student Union (LINSU), the Custodian of Rights Advocacy, the Borough Youth Association, Logan Town Old Timers, Labor Congress Women, Right-bank Youth Network, Liberian Newspapers Venders, the Port Truckers Association and the Dock Workers Union of Liberia (DOWUL), Coalition of Youths and Students for Better Liberia, Liberia Democratic Advancement, Conscious Young Women, Christian Youth Association, Islamic Youth Against Poverty and the Sinoe University Students Association (UL-Chapter), amongst others.
Mr. Joseph Deema, organizing chair of Association of Liberia Pro-democracy Groups, cataloged over 10 counts on which he said his organization based its rating of the NPA boss.
According to him, Madam Parker has impartiality provided scholarships to deserving students under the NPA corporate social responsibility program, improved security and protected the port facilities, increased workers pay and benefits and created a new department at the NPA to deal directly with environmental issues, amongst others.
He emphasized his commendation to Madam Parker and the NPA Management for recording zero Ebola cases at the port facility.
For his part, LINSU Secretary General Benedict Williams said the student movement has followed Madam Parker’s contribution towards the development of youths and students with keen interest.
“She contributed towards student scholarship programs at the University of Liberia and other universities including high school students,” said Mr. Williams.
The LINSU Secretary General also commended Madam Parker for playing a pivotal role in the construction of the Ebola Treatment Unit in Virginia.
“We have all of these activities and concluded that indeed you are people-centered and development-oriented,” he said. Also speaking, the Secretary General of the University of Liberia Student Union (ULSU) Calvin R. Summon assured Madam Parker of ULSU’s support towards helping her to achieve her goals. “We want you see your honor as a chance to continue to contribute towards the development and growth of NPA and the young people of Liberia… and I can assure you that ULSU will always be by your side,” he said. Receiving the honors, Madam Parker thanked the pro-democracy as well as youth and student groups for recognizing NPA Management’s efforts in making Liberia better.
“We [at NPA] don’t take your honors lightly. We respect it and treasure it because you motivate us, especially, civil society organizations innovate and push us hard to work,” said Madam Parker. Elated by the honors, the NPA Managing Director promised to display an even better performance in 2015. The NPA Managers Association and the Port Truckers also lavished praises at Madam Parker for exhibiting good leadership at NPA.
The National Port Authority (NPA) also announced a 13 percent increase in vessel traffic to Liberia. According to NPA Management, container traffic and deadweight tons have also grown thus resulting to growth in revenue turnover over the past few months.
The National Port Authority was established by an Act of the National Legislature in 1967 and amended in 1970 as a state-owned corporation to manage, plan, and build all public ports in Liberia. The NPA system has four ports: Freeport of Monrovia, Port of Buchanan, Port of Greenville, and Port of Harper. The Freeport of Monrovia is the largest and the main Port within the Authority’s network.