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Saturday, July 13, 2024

SENATE HEARING UNCOVERS MULTIPLE UNAPPROVED MEDTECH FIRMS OPERATING AT NPA

Date:

On Monday, June 17, 2024, the Liberian Senate Ad-Hoc Committee held a live public hearing in the Senate Chambers to review the Destination Inspection (DI) and Cargo Tracking Notes (CTN) Contracts. During the hearing, it was revealed that three MedTech institutions are operating at the National Port Authority (NPA) instead of the single entity originally agreed upon. These companies, all performing the same functions and collecting fees, were found to be backed by Minister of Commerce Amin Modad, despite widespread calls for the termination of their contracts.

The Senate hearing highlighted significant issues, including the fact that these MedTech institutions did not undergo legislative or Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC) approvals. The government’s agreement was supposed to be with only one of the three institutions. The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) head, Dorbor Jallah, was overheard admitting to Senator Nathaniel McGill that they had created a problem by allowing these operations to continue without proper oversight.

Due to the absence of key figures from MedTech Scientific Dubai Limited—the parent company with which the Government of Liberia (GOL) signed the contract—the hearing on the DI Contract was rescheduled. The CEOs of MedTech Scientific Liberia Limited, the local Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) executing the contract, and MedTech Scientific Inspection Services, another Liberian-registered company implementing the same DI contract, were also absent. Their absence was attributed to “medical reasons” and ongoing disputes among the owners of the local SPV.

The Senate Ad-Hoc Committee has demanded the presence of the CEOs and owners of the various MedTech entities for the rescheduled hearing on Friday at 11 am. The committee aims to address the complexities arising from the involvement of multiple entities and the apparent lack of proper contract approvals. This situation underscores the need for stringent oversight and transparency in government contracts to prevent similar issues in the future.

As the investigation continues, the role of Minister Amin Modad in supporting these institutions despite regulatory breaches remains a key point of contention. The revelations have sparked concerns over the integrity of Liberia’s contract management processes and the potential financial implications for the government. The upcoming hearing is expected to shed further light on the extent of the irregularities and the steps needed to rectify the situation.

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