President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf has praised what she describes as tremendous amount of improvements being made over the past years at the National Port Authority (NPA).
Mrs. Sirleaf attributed these improvements to government’s public private partnership with the ATM Terminal. Dedicating the NPA’s internal road and modernization project Friday, 15 December at the Freeport of Monrovia, Mrs. Sirleaf recalled the situation at Freeport in 2006 when her government to over the helm of power, saying the pier was falling and government had no means to quickly fix it.
She said this led to it putting up a bid for a public private partnership which brought in the APM Terminals, a decision she says has continue to transform the port system here.
Mrs. Sirleaf says the projects dedicated at the Port add so much to infrastructure and help government to keep the promises it made to the country many years ago. She says Liberia has come a long way in every way and endeavor, noting that “we” have challenges, no doubt, but development takes a long time, dedication, commitment and hard work.
The president told the audience at the dedicatory ceremony that development doesn’t happen any other way, adding that the only ones to develop a country are the nationals of the country. She warns that unless they take prime responsibility, the country will never achieve its development goals.
“And so I like what you said, which is the motto of the National Port Authority: Talk Less; Do More. I wish if all Liberians took this to heart and follow that, maybe our radio stations would now carry things that talk about development, that talk about building society and not talk so much trash,” she says.
The president also thanked Conex, a Petroleum Group for moving up slowly toward ensuring that all major activities are moved away from the government sector to the private sector. She expresses gratitude to Conex, recalling that it had to be there to help when government owned – entity LPRC could not perform its function.
NPA Managing Director Mr. David F. Williams expressed his gratitude during the dedication ceremony that he and his team will always remain grateful for the opportunity to serve the country at the NPA at this critical point in time.
Mr. Williams particularly expressed gratitude to the President for allowing his team to benefit from her mentorship, vision and oversight in laying the foundation on which Liberia can stand to trust itself into an era of sustained peace and sustainable development.
Mr. Williams told President Sirleaf that the dedicatory day is a proud moment “for all of us” on the accomplishment of yet another project for the government’s Agenda for Transformation, particularly on infrastructure.
He discloses that the project was strictly funded from the NPA covers without taking on any debt to primarily improve traffic flow, reduce traffic hazard, improve safety for all port users and enhance services at the gateway to the nation’s economy.
According to Mr. Williams, over the two years he and his team have served, they have moved the Port from 12 hours operations to 24 hours operations. He adds that the Port of Buchanan is also operating 24 hours, and it was made possible through continued collaboration with Arcelor Mittal Liberia with which he says they are in discussion for the return of transshipment operations to the Port of Buchanan.
Reporting on the outcome of their overall responsibility for the APM Terminals construction, Mr. Williams announces that the dedication of APM Terminals Phase Two Project includes construction of APM Terminals main corporate office, extension of the container yard and the new entrance and exit.
Similarly, Conex Petroleum Group which Mr. Williams says is a hundred percent Liberian owned business, collaborated with the NPA and others to complete Conex Petroleum storage terminal in order to meet the petroleum product storage need of the country.
By Winston W. Parley