The Managing Director of the National Port Authority (NPA) reveals here that the novel coronavirus has affected almost everything at the Port, including huge reduction in exports.
Mr. Bill Tweahway laments that Liberia, like any other country around the world, is suffering from damages caused by the pandemic, adding that being cognizant of the danger, Management has put in place necessary measures to protect its staff and workers.
“As per my understanding and from all indications, the danger posed on Liberia by COVID 19 is immense and our exports have been reduced, including imports as well”, he disclosed in a simulcast with three radio stations Tuesday, 11 May in Monrovia.
He cautions that if anybody in Liberia thinks that COVID-19 is a makeup, such person doesn’t value lives, because developing countries are on their knees, battling the virus saying, that is why the Management of the NPA has done everything to avoid the spread of the virus, including telling people to remain safe.
When asked whether various ports in the counties were functional, he details that all of the four ports in the country are functional, noting that both Greenville (Sinoe County) and Buchanan (Grand Bassa County) ports are currently exporting logs and iron ore, while the Freeport of Monrovia is well active.
Mr. Tweahway, a former lawmaker, notes that in March the NPA received about 17 vessels and in April 27 vessels, which clearly indicates how functional the ports are. “And I can tell you all the necessary goods that are needed for people to survive are in stock.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Twehway further discloses the NPA has cancelled all overnight payment especially, in the wake of the State of Emergency and lockdown that has resulted to people working for only four hours.“I think it’s unfair for people to pay for overnight when they are not utilizing the entire time.”
On the question of whether people abroad can easily send containers or barrels to relatives back home during this crisis, he answers in the affirmative but notes since the pandemic, Diaspora Liberians are not sending things to their relatives like before. “As we speak, you can call your relatives in America, Europe, and other areas that the port of Monrovia remains open to anyone for business”, the NPA boss urges members of the public.
By Lewis S. Teh