High Tariff At NPA Scares Importers, As Many Divert Goods To Guinea Seaport
Information gathered by the GNN has uncovered that the Liberian Government will continue to mislay huge revenue via the National Port Authority (NPA) due to what is called the high tariff been leveled on importers to bring goods from abroad through the Freeport of Monrovia, as many of the importers are said to be using the port of Guinea to bring their goods to Liberia.
Many of the importers who spoke to the GNN and appeared frustrated, complained that monies paid for the clearing of their goods are not provided with receipts, a situation that props more questions than answers as to why authorities within the NPA are reportedly receiving monies from importers for services rendered and not providing them with receipts based on monies paid.
As a result of the high tariff being charged at the Port of Monrovia, GNN has gathered from many of the importers that due to this, they have resolved to send their goods from other parts of the world for Liberia through Conakry, Guinea, a situation that will reportedly cripple the Liberian economy, meaning the revenue that should have been paid to the Liberian government is now been given to the Port of Guinea.
GNN also learned that the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) has been clothed with the authority to collect Liberian government revenues from importers following a thorough check by customs agents, brokers who are stationed usually advice importers the channel to follow in the clearing of their goods from abroad, which according to our source, sometimes more cash is paid at the end of the day.
One of the importers from the UK, who is currently in Liberia visiting, speaking to the GNN in an exclusive interview over the weekend expressed frustration for spending nearly US$20,000.00 to clear a single 20foot container containing four cars and other accessories from the United Kingdom, a situation Mrs. Julie Warner described as harmful for Liberians who want to return home.
She alleged that in order to speedily clear her container from the Port, a token of US$1,000.00 was reportedly given to the Managing Director of the NPA, Mr. Bill Tweahway, this assertion by Mrs. Warner was also rubbished by the Public Relations Manager at the NPA, Malcolm Scott.
Speaking to the GNN via mobile phone, Mr. Scott said the assertion that the NPA as an institution has imposed high tariff on containers been brought into the country via the NPA, and noted that the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) and Customs officers from the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Development are responsible including the APM Terminal to collect revenue from importers and not the NPA.
According to those who spoke to the GNN, alleged that the tariff being charged at the NPA is very high as compared to countries in the sub region, despite promises made by the Managing Director, Mr. Tweahway after making series of tours in the region to compare tariff payments in the region, but up to day Liberia’s tariff is highest than others.
One of his visits to Conakry, Guinea he promised to transform the Free Port of Monrovia to make it affordable for good public service has been a major preoccupation of the Managing Director of the National Port Authority (NPA).