Via the Daily Observer: Liberian Truckers Take WFP to Task. Excerpt:
The Port Truckers Association (PTA) of Liberia has taken serious exception to a recent contractual agreement signed between the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) Conakry and United Mining, a Guinean trucking company, to provide transport services in Liberia on behalf of WFP Monrovia’s Ebola response.
The Liberian truckers have rejected the agreement, describing it as an attempt to undermine the Liberianization policy and hurt the viability of the country’s transport industry.
In a statement issued on Thursday, December 10 the PTA announced that it has filed formal complaints with several regulatory institutions in the country, including the National Port Authority (NPA), the Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Transportation, respectively, seeking their immediate intervention in investigating the contract entered into between the WFP Conakry Office and the private Guinean company.
An investigation conducted by the Daily Observer revealed that United Mining, a private Guinean Company, has already imported 29 trucks and signed a contract valued at US$240,000 monthly, to transport the UN-WFP Liberia Ebola response food and other supplies in Liberia only. Our investigation also revealed that the Guinean trucking firm has already brought in truck drivers and conductors, all Guinean nationals, to operate the trucks here in Liberia.
The contract is valued at US$ 240,000.00 monthly with an annual value of US$ 2,880,000.00 should it be extended to a year. At present, all 29 trucks under this contract are parked at the Samuel K. Doe (SKD) Sports Complex in Paynesville City outside Monrovia, awaiting clearance by the Bureau of Customs and Excise, whose officials have also raised concerns about the ownership of the trucks.
Mr. William Dewalt, president of the Port Truckers Association, who signed the statement, said the Association had been diligently working with all major entities providing humanitarian assistance in Liberia, including the US Army and WFP Monrovia since September 2014.
“The PTA has made over 2,500 trips all across Liberia with over 100 member trucks delivering relief supplies, medical equipment, personal protective equipments (PPEs), containers, and much more, to over twenty Ebola treatment centers, and has done so without any major incidents,” said Mr. Dewalt.
“Our work has continued to receive praises. On October 1, 2014 we were awarded a formal contract with a US Logistics firm operating in Liberia to assist in the movement of its humanitarian supplies across Liberia,” he stated.
The Port Truckers Association is a legitimate and recognized trade organization in Liberia representing the interests of Liberian truckers, drivers, vehicle owners and logistics companies.