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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Liberia: Container Tracking Company GTMS Sees ‘Propaganda’ In Exit Clamor

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The Managing Director of Global Tracking Maritime Solutions (GTMS) Aminata Bangura has told a Senate hearing that she sees “intense propaganda” from individuals within the current Liberian government to ensure the company exits the country.

The hearing was held amid mixed views on the shutdown of the contract between GTMS and the Liberian government through the National Port Authority (NPA) for the Container Tracking Network (CTN) operations.

Bangura dismissed questions about the legality of the CTN operations, stating that GTMS initially engaged the National Investment Commission in 2014 to establish a presence in Liberia, and a contract was later signed with the government in 2016 following an assessment of the company’s operations in neighboring Sierra Leone.

The GTMS managing director explained that the company’s role is primarily to provide security tracking of containers and goods entering the country’s ports, as well as data used by entities such as the Liberia Revenue Authority and the Central Bank of Liberia. She added that GTMS’s operations help to better scrutinize cargo in line with international maritime security standards.

While acknowledging that GTMS is not a revenue-generating entity, Bangura revealed that the company has paid $1 million to the NPA as part of its corporate social responsibility obligations.

Amin Modad, the Minister of Commerce and Industry, reportedly raised concerns about the high fees resulting from the CTN operations and admitted to initially advising the president to shut down GTMS’s operations, claiming that MedTech could provide similar services.

The revelation sparked reactions from senators, who suggested that the propaganda against GTMS was aimed at ensuring the shutdown of its operations in favor of MedTech.

The chairman of the ad-hoc committee, Senator Amara Konneh of Gbarpolu County, acknowledged that the GTMS contract appears to be legal based on the approval of relevant entities. Still, he noted that the exclusion of the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC) from the process raises more concerns.

The committee has scheduled a second public hearing for next week to include the management of the LRA, MoCI, Ministry of Justice, Notre Dame, MedTech Scientific Liberia, Ltd., MedTech Scientific Inspection Services, NIC, MFDP, and PPCC to address several critical issues.

 

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