The Plenary of the House of Representatives has accused APM Terminals Liberia Limited of reportedly ignoring several communications regarding invitations to appear before that body, terming such act as “gross disrespect” to the lower House.
Madam Mildred Sayon, who is Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives, recounted that on several occasions dating back as far as the 52nd Legislature, the management of the company has been written to appear before the full plenary of the House to answer questions regarding its operations in the country, but has rejected these communications from the House.
Sayon explained that the recent communication from her office to the management of APM Terminals was on Monday, June 3, rejected again and was only accepted later when House Speaker Bhofal Chambers ordered his security escort to accompany the communication.
The Chief Clerk was speaking on Tuesday when the APM Terminals Management headed by its General Manager, George Adjie, appeared before the House of Representatives.
“I have had problems with APM Terminals regarding communications. We continue to face problems with them responding to our concerns. Security officers at the port continue to tell us that they were told by APM Terminals not to receive communications from us,” Sayon said.
According to her, the General Manager of APM Terminals does not answer calls from her, noting that this has made her work difficult.
APM Terminals signed a 25‐year concession agreement for the operation of the Freeport of Monrovia in Liberia. The company was named the preferred bidder for the port management and started a modernization project in 2010 following an agreement signed with the Liberian Government, but its operations have remained at the center of discussions at the National Legislature since the 54th Legislature.
Recently, Grand Bassa County District #3 Representative, Matthew Joe, alleged in his communication to the Plenary that the company is heavily charging Liberians for storage and other fees.
In response to the allegations, APM Terminals General Manager George Adjie said he regrets such communication lapses from his company assuring the House that such incident will not be repeated as he will ensure that corrective measures are taken.
Adjie, however, said that he has never received calls from the Chief Clerk as alleged by her.
Heie told the House that APN Terminals has invested US$125 million over the past five years on development at the Freeport of Monrovia.
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.
In a motion filed by Montserrado County District # 8 Representative Acarous Gray, it was noted that the Managerial position at the APM Terminals which is being occupied by Adjie as per the contract should be occupied by a Liberian.
As per the conclusion of the motion, Gray said Adjie should leave the position and vacate the country in three weeks and that APM Terminals should be audited.
Following the trial of the motion, which was unanimously voted for by the body, a motion-for-reconsideration was filed by Montserrado County District #4 Representative, Rustonlyn Dennis.
Representative Dennis’s motion will be tried by the House on Tuesday, June 11.