By Marcus Zoleh
The Government of Liberia has issued a strong warning to all cabinet ministers and heads of autonomous agencies and Public Corporations of what it calls “making dissenting view” on issues that is already endorsed by the Executive Branch of Government.
Making the disclosure Thursday during the Ministry of Information regular press briefing at the Ministry’s conference room, Deputy Information Minister Jeromelik Piah said the executive Mansion is concerned over the behavior of some members of the executive branch towards concession agreements signed between it and other partners.
“This warning comes against the background that the processes leading to the decisions are thoroughly vetted and that the Executive Spends a considerable time soliciting the opinions and comments from officials of government, including those who may have a dissenting view on a particular matter. Thus, once a cabinet position is endorsed all those serving in the executive branch are obliged to support said position or runs the risk of being separated from the government.” Minister Piah noted.
The warning from the Executive Mansion comes few days after the Managing Director of the National Port Authority, Madam Matilda Parker expressed her dissatisfaction over government’s recent US$120 million agreement signed with the APM Terminal for the reconstruction and modernization of the Free Port of Monrovia.
Madam Parker, addressing a joint public hearing of the House and Senate Contract and Monopoly, State Enterprise, Public Procurement and Concession and Judiciary Committees expressed disagreement over the contract and said it did not address the interest of the employees.
Ms. Parker pointed out that awarding the concessionaire a thirty- miles radius in the concession area has serious security implications on the nation and its people. She furthered that the inclusion of Marine Service in the concession also posed grave security concerns for the nation.
Madam Parker furthered informed the members of the joint committees of the House and Senate that she was left out of the signing ceremony of the contract between the government and APM Terminal. She told the committees that the amount provided in the contract is insufficient to cover the workers severance pay and other benefits.
The NPA Managing Director also informed members of the committees that her disagreement was in no way against the reconstruction and modernization of the port, but was meant to give reputable information to the National Legislature, adding that her “honest observation” on the issues has the propensity to create future problems.
She however called on the lawmakers to properly scrutinize the agreement in the best interest of the country and its people.