NSA Intimidating Business Community over GTMS Deal?

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Mr. Addy along with secretary general addresses the media yesterday in Monrovia.

-Suspends Boycott Planned against NPA

Amid calls for a protest by the business community through the Liberia Chamber of Commerce (LCC), several people from the business community were yesterday invited by National Security Agency (NSA), but reasons are yet to be made public.

J. Wendell Addy, president of the Liberia Chamber of Commerce (LCC) told newsmen yesterday in Monrovia that the chamber’s lawyer has been sent to establish the reasons behind the invitation extended to the business people by NSA officers.

“Several of our people received phone calls and were invited by officials of NSA. I don’t even know the total number of people invited by the NSA,” Mr. Addy said in response to a question concerning suspicions of the NSA’s involvement.

Mr. Addy said the planned boycott activities of the National Port Authority (NPA) have been suspended pending discussions with the plenary of Senate, Ministers of Commerce and Industry and Transport.

Businesses, especially importers last week set today, Tuesday, March 5, to boycott all ports of the NPA due to additional tracking fees by the government through a new hired entity. Mr. Addy made the disclosure yesterday at a news conference in Monrovia when he indicated that LCC has twisted its recent decision regarding a planned boycott of all ports in Liberia.

He said while the meeting with the Senate was set at 3:00 p.m. yesterday, the Plenary of the Senate also mandated the NPA to suspend any operations with the Global Tracking and Maritime Solutions (GTMS) and the CTN.

“Since the notification to boycott the transaction from all ports of Liberia by the business people, which by extension will affect duty payment to the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), we have had intervention and discussions with the commerce ministry, transport, and other institutions, including House of Senate,” Mr. Addy said.

According to him, the suspension of the boycott is intended to honor a request from the Plenary, Ministers of Commerce, and Transport for their intervention pending the outcome of an investigation, indicating that “we believe in dialogue and strike actions.”

Mr. Addy said: “Several of our people received phone calls and were invited by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Chamber’s lawyer is currently there to establish the reasons for the invitation. I don’t even know the total number of people invited by the NSA.”

According to Mr. Addy, the GTMS has been using different tactics, including inducements that will allow them to succeed, because people have refused to accept this process.

“We like to look at the economic policy that will strengthen the economy. We think that the new policy is not healthy for the business people and the common people as well,” Mr. Addy said while expressing the hope for better result of the pending discussion.

Mr. Addy said the LCC’s team is trying to resolve the impasse and will continue to work in the interest of all businesses, indicating “all is well on course.”

He added that the chamber is a democratic organization and does not engage in public strike action, but a negotiation for all businesses.

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