President George Manneh Weah’s first batch of appointments after taken over the leadership of Africa’s oldest republic which included nomination Mrs. Celia Cuffy-Brown as Deputy Managing Director for Administration at the National Port Authority (NPA), the gateway of the Liberian economy, has brightened the future of 285 casual laborers including the ‘WEAHS’ who have been given contractual employment with each making at lease US$200.00 whose economic situation was given less attention by previous managements.
Mrs. Cuffy-Brown who is also serving in a dual capacity as Acting Managing Director of the entity has however vowed to restore the dignity of the entity’s workforce, including those who were regarded as casual laborers; many of whom are university students are now enjoying what she called employment opportunity due to their selfless contributions to the growth and development of the Nation Port Authority (NPA) over the years.
Following series of reports from local media that she was engaged in what is being considered as nepotism and other forms of ill-labor practices, including salaries disparities as Acting Managing Director of the NPA, speaking in an exclusive interview with GNN-Liberia/Globe Afrique Media staff, denied said allegation terming it as a means to divert her NPA developmental agenda which has been lacking over the years.
In order to actualize President George Weah Government’s ‘Pro-Poor’ policy and to drastically minimize the don’t care attitude in most work places of the Country, particularly at the National Port Authority (NPA), this situation has indeed changed following the appointment of Madam Cuffy-Brown who has vowed to transform this important institution.
According to information gathered by our staff, within the shortest period since her appointment as Deputy Managing Director for Administration, and her subsequent appointment as Acting Managing Director of the NPA, Madam Cuffy-Brown’s transformation since her ascendancy at that institution including her quest to waive debts of 173 containers that have been overstayed at the Port in consultation with stakeholders has been lauded.
This action on the part of Madam Cuffy-Brown has graciously helped dozens of Liberian and foreign business people by alleviating huge taxes incurred on them, which at most times compelled them to shut down their businesses as a result of these taxes, while others reluctantly navigate their way through the hyper-bureaucratic channel to release their containers.
Another issue spoke about is the millions of United States Dollars in revenue (US$30 million) being accrued by the APM Terminals from Marine services while the NPA receive a tiny portion (US$28,000.00) of that revenue collected seems to be the major concern of Madam Cuffy-Brown, describing the action on the part of the APM Terminals as a ‘Gross insults’ to Liberians.
Speaking to our staff at his office, the Executive Director for Government and International Affairs, at the NPA, Mr. Sekou Korleh who himself has been at the port for the past decade bragged of the level of improvement been made since the ascendancy of Madam Cuffy-Brown, making specific reference of the interest she has for the growth and development of the National Port, and its manpower.
Mr. Kolleh further spoke highly the many achievements in the shortest time Madam Cuffy-Brown has made since taken over as Deputy Managing Director for Administration and Acting Managing Director of the NPA, referencing her quest to restoring the lost image of the entity including the recovering of millions of United States that was being clandestinely held by the APM Terminal which was intended for the Liberian Government.
On the issue of nepotism at the NPA, Mr. Korleh rubbished media report that the current management team was linked to such by employing some relatives of President George Manneh Weah, and at the same time given them attractive salaries, he further noted that apart from those individuals who the media considered as relatives, several other Liberians who are qualified have been given similar employment opportunities with attractive salaries.
“Since her appointment of madam Celia Cuffy-Brown as Deputy Managing Director for Administration and subsequently been asked by the Liberian leader, George Manneh Weah to serve as Acting Managing Director, lots of development programs have taken place. Those who were hired as casual workers, many of whom are university students are now employed due to their commitment to duty,” Mr. Kolleh told the GNN-Liberia/Globe Afrique Media staff.
He said each of the 400 former casual workers who are now full time employees are paid US$200.00, stressing that this is the way of encouraging them to work harder for the benefit and growth of the entity.
“One of the brilliant and innovative moves being made by Madam Cuffy-Brown for the rapid economic growth of the NPA is the transferred of the tugboat that was initially assigned at the Port of Greenville to the Port of Buchanan, this move is inline of generating more revenues since the Buchanan Port is more active,” Mr. Kolleh outlined to our staff.