BUSHROD ISLAND, Montserrado – President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has dedicated a project at the Freeport of Monrovia that saw the construction of 2.4 miles of internal roads within the facility, in addition to other modernization projects.
Speaking on Friday during the ribbon cutting ceremony, Sirleaf noted that Liberia had come a long way in meeting its developmental targets despite its challenges. The president urged Liberians to take charge of developmental initiatives in the country.
According to Sirleaf, the port has improved significantly since the government awarded APM Terminals a concession to operate the facility. She said the improvements have enabled the National Port Authority to provide better services to the country.
Sirleaf praised APM Terminals and Conex Petroleum Group, a Liberian-owned business, for their swift intervention in face-lifting the port.
“The facilities will add a lot more to the country’s infrastructure and help [the] government keep promises made in the past years,” she said.
For his part, David F. Williams, managing director of the National Port Authority, said the dedication of the facilities at the port is a demonstration of the government’s commitment to infrastructural development.
Williams said the completion of the internal roads would improve traffic flow and “reduce traffic hazard for port users.” He noted that under his administration, the port has moved from a 12-hour to 24-hour based operations.
“The Freeport of Monrovia is better today than before,” he said.
Williams said NPA had also worked to ensure that the Port of Buchanan is likewise operating on a 24-hour basis. Such improvement was made possible through a collaboration with ArcelorMittal, he said.
Williams said Equatorial Palm Oil is also concluding arrangements to start exporting crude palm oil from the Port of Buchanan.
Additionally, Williams said NPA had rehabilitated and improved the infrastructure at the Port of Greenville, allowing the port to be deemed safe for international vessel operations, along with the ports in Monrovia and Buchanan.
The NPA managing director said since a Kuwaiti loan to rehabilitate to the Port of Greenville was ratified in 2014, four marine crafts, two tug boats, one pilot boat, and one patrol boat had been procured and delivered.
“We have also procured one brand new empty container lift and are in the process of completing the procurement of aids to navigation for the Port of Greenville,” he stated.
Williams also said his team has also improved conditions at the Port of Harper and renovated key structures to include the demarcation of the port areas with a concrete fence and the rehabilitation of warehouses and operational areas.
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah