All change at Sierra Leone’s sea port as Bio terminates TPMS contract to end corruption

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 15 February 2019:

The government of Sierra Leone has been losing millions of dollars in revenue  every year from the country’s sea port at Water Quay in Freetown, because of corrupt government officials and crooked company executives.

This too has robbed thousands of well-meaning citizens that are shipping goods to the country for business, personal and charitable causes, who are faced with exorbitant costs of clearing their goods, and debilitating and unnecessary delays at the Water Quay sea port.

But today president Julius Maada Bio has decided that enough is enough – corruption and poor management at the Water Quay must end.

He has terminated the government’s contract with Transport and Ports Management System (TPMS) West Africa Ltd. and Global Transport and Maritime Solutions (GTMS) with immediate effect.

An investigation conducted into the running of the sea port a few months ago found that the company responsible for tracking goods at the sea port has colluded with ministers and officials to defraud the state. The content of the Government Transition Team Report makes for worrying reading.

Transport and Ports Management System (TPMS) West Africa entered into an agreement with the government in November of 2014 to track and monitor all cargoes brought into and leaving the port of Sierra Leone.

According to the Government Transition Team Report, “The company was contracted to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority in its non-core activities.”

“The company levies import and export fees on every cargo, with a schedule of payments set into the contract. The company was to keep 60% of this and Government was to be given 40%.”

“TPMS should have deposited into Government’s Consolidated Fund $10,990,216 USD and in 2018 the amount would have been $4,036,068 USD.” The company was to pay penalty charges of 12% on payments to the Government.

The GTT report found that “Since the signing of the agreement in 2014, official records show that TPMS has paid only $1 million USD.”

“The records also indicate that in 2016, the APC Government, without explanation, had this profit-sharing arrangement based on percentage of profit revoked, and pegged Government’s receipts from the ports at $331,000 USD – a massive potential loss of $10 million USD in just two years to the time that the current Government took office.”

“Since the contract was signed, TMPS has not honoured its responsibility under the contract to provide Global Tracking & Maritime Reports to GoSL and NRA, amidst reports of under-invoicing of shipping items or goods, resulting in significant loss of revenue by Government”.

“The GTT understands that this corrupt arrangement was made to profit Sahr William , a major APC donor and Director of the company, at the expense of the GoSL.”

“Mr. Ngegba is also behind a project to expand the seaport at the extortionate cost of almost $700 million USD.”

“Mr. Sahr Ngegba be investigated and made to account for the US $10 million that the GoSL lost after this fraudulent arrangement was confected,” the GTT report recommended.

Yesterday president Bio acted swiftly to implement this recommendation so as to bring sanity and order at the Water Quay sea port in Freetown that has become infested with corruption, bribery and fraud at the expense of the state, the people of Sierra Leone and the economy.

This is president Bio’s Executive Order made yesterday to end the madness:

 

9 Comments

  1. The death is announced of Water Quay as we have come to know it for decades.It is survived by other para-statals which are also on death throes if President Bio has anything to do with it.

    The extraordinary thing about it is that only a handful of people are mourning the passing.Indeed some people are so happy that they intend to attend the funeral not to grief but to shed tears of joy, and to make sure that they witness the lowering into the grave of an institution which in its lifetime inflicted so much frustration and pain on shippers.

    To clear anything at the Quay could run into days rather than hours,during which time some of the shipment would mysteriously disappear into thin air.

    The broom of President Bio is getting longer and wider by the minute, and it misses nothing. Rumours even have it that he has ordered more brooms that are so unique that they have censors which can detect corruption in the most remote and obscure places.This can only compound the nightmare of bent people and institutions.

    We in the NGC are very pragmatic.A fellow by the name of Ibrahim, who puts out audios on social media quite often, summed this up the other day when he said that if President Bio continues on the path that he is on he will be hard to beat in 2023.This is not defeatism but realism.

    But I do believe we can beat President Bio if we sharpen our message,stay united and well organised.APC are currently punch drunk since Maada Bio floored them with a right hook almost a year ago.They did see the hook coming but did not step out of the way because of arrogance, and so they went down without knowing how they got there – thanks to Allah/God.

  2. I hope and pray that the same transformation that has taken place at the airport can also be implemented at the sea port.

    For the first time in many years there is no difference in the process and procedures that I went through in Freetown, USA and Europe.

    Other than security checkpoints, nobody else was allowed to touch my luggage and it was even better in Sierra Leone because the luggage carts were free of charge.

  3. Why can’t we learn from the paper less regime system in Ghana. Even Denmark came to learn from Ghana. You clear your goods in Ghana without a clearing agent.

  4. May God continue to bless this President. S/L needs every penny for infrastructural development. Can you imagine what $10 million can do for dilapidated hospitals? Mr. President, may God continue to surround you with people who love S/L.

  5. The problem of the Sierra Leone sea port is very broad and deep. The Customs officers are very corrupt. They can skilfully hike your excise duty on your goods with the hope of forcing you to bribe them. Some even have the audacity to fidget your goods for their personal use. The customs officers need to be structured properly and retrained for modern custom and excise duties at the ports.

  6. This is excellent. Well done sir. We will continue to pray for Got’s direction. You are really a great leader. Paopa Salome go better.

  7. People should be able to clear their goods without using agent. The idea of people going through agents has corrupted the whole clearing system. When someone sends container there should be direct channel to clear my container or goods. This way we limit the corrupt practices. I was in Sierra Leone few months ago with my container – just personal effects and I had to pay 23 millions Leones, which I strongly believe is not the official cost for a 40ft container.

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