The National Port Authority or (NPA) begins a review of lease agreements signed by past management on operations of the port, including lease holders.
The NPA says the objective of the exercise is to bring to book bad concessions that have hindered the smooth operation of the port. It is also aimed at clearly finding out discrepancies that have stalled daily operation of the port, and to rectify agreements reached with lease holders and other institutions or individuals by past administration.
Addressing a news conference Wednesday, 28 March at the NPA Head Office on Bushrod Island in Monrovia, newly hired Consultant for Corporate Properties, Walloh Weah, explains that management has come across 11 lease holders, who allegedly failed to comply with terms of agreements signed with the past management.
Mr. Walloh Weah is reportedly a relative of President George Manneh Weah, who was recently hired by the new NPA Management to provide consultancy services.
“We were giving an assignment by the Acting Managing Director of the NPA to carry on a vigorous viewing of those leases that were signed in the transitional period by past management beginning from September 2017, to January 2018”, says Mr. Weah, noting that as per mandate, an assessment was done in collaboration with his department, and they came across some policies that are not fully recognized as per the lease that was signed with the previous management.
He continues that in view of that, they were mandated to go in the field and conduct assessment, noting that the board policy that was established in 2006 stipulates lease terms for 10 years, and concession for 25 years, respectively.
He says rate in those policies mention structures like buildings, warehouses that should be rated at 2.28 percent, and undeveloped portion, 0.46 percent, among others.
Mr. Weah further details that in leases that market the 2006 board policy require that any lease that has to be signed after the period under review should be challenged with a forty percent cut if it is sub-lease, and other institutions must summit 40 percent, respectively.
He says in view of that, an analysis was made, and subsequent assessment conducted in the field, where they came across some institutions like Carmer Liberia Limited, Monete INC, Pointer International, Embassy Garage, and Logan Town Garage, among others.
According to Mr. Weah, these places have buildings under 10-year lease, but the required forty percent was not giving to the NPA, instead, 15 percent, adding that there were lot of institutions engaged in such habit, noting that after they held meeting with the Acting Managing Director, Madam Cecelia Cuffy Brown on those leases, those institutions concerned eventually complied and accepted the 2006 board policy, even promising to work with the new NPA management team in order to go ahead with the policy.
“In that meeting, the Acting MD made it clear to everyone that the new management team of the NPA has no intention to witch hunt, but wants to make sure that the current NPA team lives by the 2006 board policy that was crafted and endorse by the legislature”, Mr. Weah adds.
Meanwhile, he discloses that in that meeting, lease holders reached a common understanding that they are willing to amend any agreement that is not recognized by the policy that governs the NPA.
By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne