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Former NPA employees demand US$4.3m benefit

By Thompson Kruah

Former employees of the National Port Authority, who were sent on compulsory leave by management years ago, have taken the streets of Monrovia demanding compensation totaling US$4.3 million and other benefits.

They received an initial payment of US$1.5 million during the Sirleaf administration.

According to them, the demand was in response to an initial agreement with NPA Management based on a joint audit report of September 18, 2010, to pay them pensions refund thru ALICO worth US$6.3 million.

“We went into an audit on September 18, 2010, with the National Port Authority and the port authority decided to give us clearance that they have US$6.3m ALICO pensions refund benefits for us “, says Josiah C. Clammy. Chairperson of the group.

Addressing a news conference over the week, Mr. Clammy noted that they worked for the Freeport of Monrovia for more than 30 years and by administrative procedure, each time an employee takes a compulsory leave or retires from the port, he is entitled to benefits.

However, he indicated that during all the time they took leave, the NPA allegedly collected those benefits and breach the contract with ALICO insurance policy without forwarding any communication to the company.

“They were eating the money, so when they retire us, we asked for our money, that is how they call us and said gentleman, let’s do an audit to see how much we owe. we went through the audit and it unveiled that NPA has the amount of US$6.3 million for us. 

But, when the audit was done and NPA saw the money was huge, the administration appealed to pay us within the next sixty-three years.”

Chairman Clammy said that UNMIL at that time seeing insincerity from NPA, intervened in the matter, thereby refusing such offer on grounds that by sixty years, some of them might not be alive to receive the benefits.

He expressed disappointment in the NPA Management for treating fellow citizens in such form and manner.

Besides, Mr. Clammy said because of UNMIL’s intervention, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at that time instructed the port to make available US$1.5m with a promise that the next administration would have paid the balance.

“But since this administration came to power, we have visited all of the offices you can think about, but nothing.”

for his part, Eric Johnson, Co-Chair of the former employees, claimed when President George Weah took office, they decided to pay him a visit, but unfortunately, he said, the NPA passed behind them and went to Supreme Court with false documents. He continued that the next morning, they saw in a newspaper, ruling from the court stating that NPA has no money for them as former workers.

“I was surprised when I saw the paper that morning, so I took my people and we went to NPA; they told us that we should go to court, but when we got to the court, the court handed out their ruling to us “, he added

While the news conference was in progress, the protesters held a banner that read:  “National Port Authority (NPA) Just pay our ALICO pensions refund, according to the joint Audit report of 2010 September 18.”

Co-chair Johnson said as per the ruling given to them, there is no way two benches can sign a release, alleging that the ruling from the Supreme Court was signed by former Chief Justice Cllr. Gloria M. Scott and former Chief Justice Francis Korkpor, Sr. Editing by Jonathan Browne

NewDawn

The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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