On A Familiarization Tour… MPs Storm Ports Authority

By Abdul Kabia (SLPA)

“We need a legal framework to recognize the Ports as a Landlord,”Ports General Manager, Dr. Abdulai Fofana

The General Manager of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority has said he inherited a landlord port with no legal framework to recognize its status quo as a regulatory body for private ports operators. Dr Abdulai Fofana made these statements to Honourable Members of Parliament during a familiarization visit of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Transport and Aviation at the Queen Elizabeth II on last Thursday.

“I inherited the port with a landlord status but with no legal framework which is seriously affecting its operations. The concessioning and licensing agreements for private operators to perform core port operational functions are not in favour of the Management of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority.  We need a legal framework to recognise the Port as a Landlord.”

He furthered that the port is starved of funds to run an effective port management due to the diversion of yearly concession fees of port operators into the consolidated fund and urged that the committee to push for a reasonable sum of these yearly fees to be given to SLPA.

Dr Fofana said his new administration is confronted with so many other challenges not excluding the external meddling into the affairs of his administration, land encroachment on SLPA landed properties and unfriendly working environment of staff at the port. This, he said, is affecting the operations of the port.

Earlier on, a Member of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Transport and Aviation, Honourable Alhassan Osio Kamara who acted as the Chairman said the meeting is to meet the new SLPA management and to familiarise the committee on the operations of the port.

Honourable Kamara intimated that he was asked to chair the meeting in the absent of the Chairman and his deputy due to his length of experience in the port sector  as he had served the Port for over Thirty years in different capacities. He said he is not unfamiliar with the operations and challenges of the port and promised to work with his Chairman and deputy to ensure that they look into the challenges of the port.