A delegation made up of government leadership, heads of agencies, and members of the diplomatic community has taken a tour of the Freeport of Monrovia to observe ongoing dredging works at the Port.
This was to allow the delegation to see firsthand, the progress of work on this historic project being embarked upon by the National Port Authority (NPA) and APM Terminals Liberia.
In September this year, the National Port Authority of Liberia and APM Terminals Liberia executed a USD 6 million Dredging Project Financing & Execution Agreement.
It came after extensive discussion on the need for dredging and widening the port channels of the Freeport of Monrovia.
This agreement involves APM Terminals Liberia undertaking preliminary engineering studies, procuring, contracting, and executing the dredging program.
The project involves the removal of sand sedimentations of around 1 million cubic meters, which will allow for larger vessels to enter the Freeport.
Led by the newly appointed NPA Managing Director Diana Nebo, and accompanied by Mr. Jonathan Graham, the outgoing Managing Director of APM Terminals Liberia and incoming MD, Mr. Clay Crain, the delegation boarded and sailed the APM Terminals Liberia tug boats to the dredging site.
The various stakeholders expressed satisfaction with the progress of work, underscoring the importance of the dredging exercise to the improvement of operations at the Port and ultimately the Liberian economy.
The Minister of Commerce, Mawine G. Diggs said that the project is in fulfillment of President George Manneh Weah’s vision to attract more investments into the country.
She said it will stimulate economic growth in that it will allow larger import parcel sizes at the Freeport of Monrovia and will directly benefit the import industry in Liberia.
“The Government of Liberia is looking at increasing trade volumes at the Freeport of Monrovia and so this project targeted at allowing entry of much bigger vessels at the Freeport is strategic and will allow us to drastically increase our trade volume,” said Minister Diggs.
For Diana Nebo, the tour allowed her to acquaint herself with this project as she settles into her new role as the Managing Director of the NPA.
She emphasized that this project fits into her vision of implementing operational and tactical planning to allow major changes in the supply of port services, such as infrastructure investments aimed at increasing port capacity.
“This landmark dredging project is a consequence of a strong partnership between the National Port Authority and APM Terminals Liberia,” she said.
“I am impressed by the progress of work thus far. We are informed that civil works started only this October after the agreement was signed in September,” she added.
She said from what she has seen, everything being constant, as he is confident that they will complete this project ahead of time.
“It is important that we continue to partner as we expand the Freeport of Monrovia, which will help to quickly rejuvenate the economy of Liberia,” Madam Nebo said.
Mr. Jonathan Graham in a brief remark on the sidelines after the tour thanked the stakeholders for their support and partnership over the years and reiterated APM Terminals Liberia’s commitment to completing the project according to schedule.
“As mentioned, when we executed the agreement, this historic project has been driven by the notable partnership between APM Terminals Liberia, the National Port Authority, the Ministries, and [the] government.”
“I want to thank all of our partners for working with us on this project. Like we have all seen and attested to, we are fully committed to the execution of this project which will allow both NPA and APM Terminals Liberia to provide a higher level of service and efficiency for the stakeholders of the Freeport,” Mr. Graham remarked.