Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon has written the plenary of the Liberian Senate to probe the contract between the Management of the National Port Authority and the Global Tracking and Maritime Solutions (GTMS/CTN).
In his communication to plenary on Thursday, January 28, 2021, Sen. Dillon said since hearing about the application of the new system by GTMS, the business community has communicated with and engaged the Management of the National Port Authority to get clarification on the mandate of GTMS and to obtain a copy of the contract signed with the Government of Liberia, but to no avail.
He noted that there is a growing outcry among Liberian businesses about the additional financial burden and other challenges of doing business at the Freeport of Monrovia since the NPA contracted the GTMS.
He said the government already has an active contract with BIVAC that is providing some of the very services GTMS/CTN has been contracted to provide, however imposing additional financial burden, terming the current climate as unnecessary and unfriendly in doing business at the Free Port of Monrovia.
“From our understanding, no country in the world has both GTMS/CTN and pre- destination inspection. Liberia is the only country out of 195 countries to have both systems in place, which hinders trade.” Dillon lamented.
The Montserrado County Senator added that real time container tracking is a free service already offered by all shipping lines, saying that any additional financial cost in this direction would be burdensome on the business community and it would run contrary to the interest of the people under the national program, the Pro Poor Agenda.
He also said that coupled with information that the award process of GTMS/CTN in Liberia did not go through the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC) compliance and consultation processes. He said the Government of Liberia should decide which system should operate in the Liberian commerce, Pre- shipment Inspection or GTMS/CTN.
Dillon says that with the existing contract between the Government of Liberia and the BIVAC there should be no pre condition of obtaining GTMS/CTN numbers before loading of containers whilst using the Destination Inspection process.
By Ethel A Tweh–Editing by Jonathan Browne