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NPA’s new cargo deal backfires

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In an effort to curtail reports of impending goods shortage on the Liberian market, the plenary of the Liberian Senate mandates its committees on Commerce & Industry, Defense, Security, Intelligence and Veteran Affairs to investigate the latest cargo tracking regime initiated by the Management of the National Port of Authority (NPA) before the deal is formalized.

The Senate took the decision here Tuesday, following a communication written to that august body by Grand Cape Mount County Senator, Cllr. Varney Sherman, who chairs the Judiciary Committee.

In his communication read in session, Senator Sherman drew his clues from local newspapers’ publications and other sources. He said the papers quoted the Liberia Chamber of Commerce as alarming that the deal is bad.

“As you are probably aware, the Liberia Chamber of Commerce, which has alerted the public to this New Cargo Tracking Regime is composed of Liberia Business Association, Fula Business Association, World Lebanese Cultural Union, Indian Association, Bankers Association, Custom Brokers Association and many other organizations involved in the commerce of Liberia,” Sherman reminded his colleagues in the senate.

The letter further asserted that due to the seriousness of the matter, the House of Representatives’ committee on Contracts, Concessions and Investments has taken seize of it and invited both the NPA and the Global Tracking & Maritime Solution Holdings, parties to the deal to submit to an investigation because of the economic implications of the Cargo Tracking Regime.

Sherman explained that limited research he had conducted on the New Cargo Tracking Regime revealed recently that Sierra Lone annulled its cargo tracking regime pursuant to an agreement with a private company.

“I therefore, urge the Liberian Senate to take the same initiative as the House of Representatives by having our Committee on Commerce & Industry investigate this new Cargo Tracking Regime before it takes effect,” he pleaded with overwhelming endorsement from his colleagues.

Sherman also recommended that the Management of the NPA, the Global Tracking & Maritime Solutions Holdings, and the Liberia Chamber of Commerce be invited during the probe.

He urged the Senate to instruct the committee on Commerce and Industry to prohibit the agreement, pending full conclusion of the inquiry. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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