MONROVIA, LIBERIA – The National Port Authority (NPA) has issued a firm directive to bar 75 prominent clients from utilizing port services, citing unsettled arrears. Entities affected include UCI, NAFAA, Total Liberia, Western Cluster, TRH, West Coast Trading, Star Cement, SRIMEX Enterprise, and others.
In an internal memo from the Comptroller’s office to Corporate Security Coordinator PFSO Timothy Sudue dated February 8, 2024, the NPA stipulated that until outstanding debts are cleared, the aforementioned clients are ineligible to access port facilities. However, stakeholders have criticized the NPA’s decision, labeling it as potential economic sabotage against the Liberian government.
Port users have expressed concerns over the repercussions of such actions, warning that a disruption in the operations of these major entities could lead to chaos and economic instability. The indispensable role these clients play in importing crucial commodities like rice, cement, and petroleum raises fears of potential shortages and price hikes.
Amidst the criticisms, there are calls for a more tactful and sustainable approach by the new NPA management to avoid exacerbating any looming economic crises. The uncertainty surrounding the situation has led to growing apprehension within the community about the potential ramifications on national stability and supply chains. The question remains: could this policy trigger a severe economic downturn in the country?