-Charges AcelorMittal to remit legitimate fees to NPA coffers
The Acting managing director of the National Port Authority (NPA) has reportedly detected major cash sources through which the Government of Liberia was losing to two private companies operating in the marine sector.
One of the companies has been identified as Smit–Lamnalco, while the government has at the same time ordered the management of AcelorMittal to remit legitimate fees it has reportedly collected over the years to the national coffers.
“The era of revenue leakages in millions of dollars that were not realized from marine operations, lease payment and remittances through concession fees at the NPA, a Gateway to the Nation’s Economy,’ is being plugged as the Cecelia Cuffy-Brown Administration has detected major cash sources where money can now be legitimately collected and consistent with the Act governing the seaports,” a release said.
This latest move hinges on huge financial liabilities, which amounted to US$680,000 that was discovered by the NPA’s new management team prior to taking over few months ago.
It is also aimed at reclaiming territorial control of all viable economic hubs in the country’s revenue corridors, to ensure sustained development and economic prosperity.
On Wednesday, 13 June, the new NPA management team made yet another record-setting achievement for the first time in more than a decade, thereby initiating a major deal for potential revenue inflow at the Port of Buchanan.
Located 272 kilometers south–east of Monrovia, the Buchanan Port is Liberia’s second largest. It is poised to be used as a transshipment pathway and a major hub for job creation in the wake of the coastal highway project the President has promised to construct.
The deal, when consummated, will remit all funds to the NPA coffers as legitimate revenue for the port.
The decision to consummate the deal was reached following series of engagements by the current NPA management regarding the action by AcelorMittal to have hired Smit–Lamnalco to render Marine Services at the Buchanan Port, and collect millions of dollars for the past six years without remitting a dime to the NPA as required by law.
NPA Acting managing director Cecelia Cuffy Brown said the engagement with AcelorMittal was cordial but tense, adding that the upliftment of Liberia remains of major concern to the citizens; so everyone must play his or her part, and with honesty.
Madam Brown then described the exercise as “the political will power to ensure that all legal revenue siphoned from the ports in the past be remitted to NPA’s coffers as her administration will not shy away from transparency.”
It can be recalled that on May 25, 2018, the NPA–APM Terminals deal, which will now allow 15% payment in royalty on total annual revenue from Marine Services before expenditure and taxes to the NPA, plus additional 50% of the remaining profit; also the US$1.25 million arrears for the extra two years APM Terminals operated the Marine Services as well as the five years training package for NPA staffs, and the first ever 37.5% payment from APM Terminals annual gross revenue through the weigh bridge operation.