The World Food Program (WFP) has awarded a lucrative trucking contract to United Mining, a Guinean trucking company, to provide transport services to WFP’s Ebola response in Liberia. The contract was negotiated by WFP Guinea and awarded to the Guinean company to implement in Liberia on behalf of WFP Liberia.
The fleet of 20-long haul trucks with tractors 4×4-wheel and long haul trucks 6×6 will be used to haul WFP’s emergency relief items across Liberia.
An unimpeachable reference document in the possession of this paper indicates that the WFP will pay US$240,000 to the Guinean company per month, leaving the Liberian Truckers Association in the cold.
According to the document, the agreement will commence on the date that the carrier’s fleet is available in Monrovia and shall continue for a renewable period of three months. The agreement between the Guinean trucking firm and WFP was recently signed and the trucks bearing Guinean license plates were imported into Liberia by road and are currently parked at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville.
The Guinean logistics trucks were driven to Liberia by Guinean drivers and car boys, who this paper has credibly learned, will drive and manage the vehicles.
According to investigation conducted by this paper, Customs officials in Monrovia have launched an investigation to ascertain as to whether the trucks were imported to Liberia by WFP, which enjoys duty free privileges from the government.
Customs officials spoken with on Wednesday, December 17, have anonymously expressed serious concerns over how the Guinean-owned trucks entered the country through the borders before coming to Monrovia to apply for duty free privileges.
On the other hand, the Port Truckers Union of Liberia (PTUL) has also expressed serious concerns over the decision of the WFP to have left the Union out of the deal, which, according to the Union, Liberians are capable of executing.
PTUL also stated that the contract between WFP and the Guinean company undermines the Liberianzation policy especially when Liberian companies can handle said contract.
The Liberian Truckers Union expressed their anger at WFP especially where they are fully aware that the Guinea Transport Authority has prevented Liberian Trucks from hauling goods from Guinea through Liberia for the Socopa Rubber Company in protection of Guinean businesses.
WFP could not be reached for comment as all mobile phone numbers called by the Daily Observer returned an ‘unreachable’ or ‘switched off’ message from the mobile operator.