-For Gross Disrespect…..
APM Terminals Liberia Limited Tuesday June 4, 2019 received some ‘political punches’ from members of the House of Representatives for reportedly ignoring their communications regarding invitations to appear before that body dating as far back as the 52nd National Legislature.
APM Terminals Global Terminal Network has been in Liberia since 2010 following an agreement signed with the Liberian Government, but its operations had remain at the center of discussions at the National Legislature.
On several occasions, the management of the company has been written to appear before the full plenary of the House to answer to questions regarding its operations in the country, but has refused all communications according to the Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives, Madam Mildred Sayon.
APM Terminals signed a 25‐year concession agreement for the operation of the Port of Monrovia in Liberia, having been named the preferred bidder for the port management and modernization project. The now formalized agreement for the port’s privatization has resulted in the investment of US$120 million in the facility over the course of the contract term.
Recently, Grand Bassa County electoral district three Representative Matthew Joe alleged in his communication to the plenary that the company heavily charging Liberians for storage and others.
Communications from the Chief Clerk to the management Terminals were rejected on several occasions until House Speaker Bhofal Chambers sent his Security guards before APM Terminals team headed by its General Manager, George Adjie appeared on Tuesday.
In her statement during the open plenary, Madam Mildred Sayon said “I have had problems with APM Terminals regarding communications with my staffs entering the port to give communications. We continue to face problems with them responding to our concerns. Security officers at the port continue to tell us that they are told by APM Terminals not to receive communications from us. The General Manager doesn’t answer our calls and they are making our work very difficult up to date.”
Prior to the Chief Clerk’s claims, Representatives Edwin Melvin Snowe alleged that APM Terminals agreement with the Liberian Government is a ‘disgrace, disappointment’ and such agreement should be reviewed.
Other lawmakers including Representatives Jeremiah Koung, Dixon Seboe, Acarous Gray, Isaac Roland, Matthew Joe, Francis Dopoh frowned at what they termed gross disrespect, and poor services and heavy charges for storage from APM Terminals at the port.
According to them, the agreement the government has with the management of APM Terminals should be reviewed to suit the Liberian people economically because the company is protecting her side of the agreement at the disadvantage of the Liberian people.
Even House Speaker Bhofal Chambers admitted that he was not satisfy with the conduct of Mr. Adjie terming it as ‘gross disrespect’ and said he heard similar complaints from his predecessor.
In response, APM Terminals General Manager George Adjie said he regrets such communication lapses from his company and prayed that such wouldn’t be repeated, but will ensure corrective measures are taken. He however said he has never received calls from the Chief Clerk as alleged by her.
Meanwhile, the APM Terminals GM has revealed that his company has invested US$125million on development at the Freeport of Monrovia over nine years ago.
“Since 2011, we used US$50million for reconstruction of walls, pavement of entire yard US$75million. I don’t know our revenue off records within the nine years. In 2018, we generated US$45million, but gave US$10million as royalty to the government of Liberia. There are other costs including salaries for over 1000 employees, 1500 diesel fuel every day among others,” he said.
Meanwhile, Adjie has revealed that APM Terminals is operating the marine services at the port despite calls for it to be turned over to the government of Liberia and it is collecting fees in United States dollars.
The Liberian Government elected to privatize the port in response to the urgent need for port infrastructure improvement, as the current facility was developed prior to containerized cargo transportation and requires investment in equipment and technology to bring the facility up to current industry standards.
The APM Terminals Global Terminal Network is well‐established in West Africa with facilities in Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Cotonou, Benin; Tema, Ghana; Apapa (Lagos), and Onne (Port Harcourt), Nigeria; Douala, Cameroon; Pointe Noire (under development), DR Congo; and Luanda, Angola.