The National Port Authority or NPA, dubbed as gateway to the Liberian economy seems to be between twist and turns over financial operations by previous administrations with one particular incident raising more questions than answers.
The NPA under ex-managing director David Williams earmarked a corporate head office project, which was captured in the 2016/2017 fiscal period. The project was subsequently cancelled by the Williams-led administration due to lack of funds, but according to the tender document, allotment was made in the budget during the above fiscal period.
In a letter dated July 14, 2017, Mr. Williams wrote the manager of Afrique Construction & Maintenance Company, a local company that should have executed the project, “The cancellation is based on the decline of revenue for the fiscal period 2016/2017. This cancellation is in line with Section 36 (2) (b) (ii) of the Public Procurement and Concessions Act (PPCA); a procuring entity may cancel the procurement proceedings at any time prior to the acceptance of a bid where continuing with the procurement in its present form or a substantially similar form is not appropriate because insufficient funding is available for the procurement.”
In May 2016 the NPA paid over US$400,000 to Biggs International, an Italian company to conduct pre and post dredge survey of the Freeport of Monrovia after single sourcing the company.
The pre dredge survey was conducted in May 2016 which should have been followed by formal dredging but the NPA former management had already paid the company the full amount in what was supposed to be a two-phase project.
The NPA has been in the limelight for some time, especially after the change of administration which saw the appointment of Madam Cecelia Cuffy Brown as Deputy Managing Director for Administration, currently serving as Acting Managing Director.
-Editing by Jonathan Browne