Businessman Hails Pres. Weah’s Visit To National Port Authority

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One of Liberia’s respected businessmen, the Reverend Y. Weagba Seeboe, has welcomed last week’s surprise visit to the Freeport of Monrovia by the father of the nation, President George Maneh Weah.

   The visit comes against the backdrop of public outcries over the way Freeport is being managed since the government turned over the port to a foreign business firm, APM Terminals.

   Importers and other port users complain of huge tariffs, service charges and unnecessary taxes, which are making it difficult for business to survive.

   Rev. Seebboe, who is leading the advocacy against malpractices in the business sector, with the Freeport of Monrovia in particular over the last three months, said the impromptu visit suggests that President Weah has heard the cries of the business community, and is ready to act.

   The businessman urged the President to move swiftly and put into place measures that will end what he called the rampant exploitation and corruption at the port by agencies of government responsible for trade and tax collection.

   Rev. Seeboe, whom many considered international trade expert, emphasized the need for government to closely monitor the Ministry of Commerce, the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), and the National Port Authority (NPA), agencies he accused of masterminding the exploitation in the business community.

   Reverend Seeboe also expressed anger and frustration over the decision by the LRA and Commerce Ministry to grant a foreign company, MedTech, the right to perform destination inspection on Liberian soil for goods entering the country.

   He disclosed that there are Liberians trained by BIVAC to render said services for their country. “I see no reason why government agencies are denying Liberian businesses the right to take over MedTech,” which he claimed was criminally organized to exploit the citizens.

   Rev. Weagba Seeboe also called on President George Weah to terminate the contract signed between the National Port Authority and GTMS and hire a Liberian company to perform the task.

   He indicated that paying taxes to foreign entities that are making no impact on the economy is adding to the burden endured by businesses all over the country.

   Rev. Y. Weagba Seeboe is an outspoken advocate against corruption in the business sector, social injustice and human rights abuse.

   He founded the National Custom Brokers Association of Liberia, served as its president for two consecutive terms, and is a recipient of many diplomas and certificates on custom and international trade.

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