Most times, it very difficult for Presidents to nullify business agreements for fear of scaring away investors but President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone has made history by appending his signature to an executive order to annul an agreement between the Sierra Leone Ports Authority (SLPA) and Transport and Ports Management Systems, West Africa Sierra Leone (TPMS WASL) and Global Transport and Maritime Solutions (GTMS).
In his executive order signed by President Bio last Thursday 14 of February, he mentioned several things in the agreement that the company (TPMS-WASL) have allegedly breached.
That the company owes the government revenue amounts to 11 Billion Leones and that the company made an unauthorised direction of funds into other foreign accounts.
As such, the executive order put the cargo tracking not contract in the hands of the Sierra Leone Port Authority (SLPA) for the period of 90 days so that the government will restructure the operation and management systems of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority.
That the Ministry of Transports and Aviation, the National Commission For Privatization (NCP) has been directed to ensure a smooth transition of the tracking note system.
That an international competitive bidding will be undertaken to attract credible private operator for the cargo tracking note systems.
The executive order came at a time when the Sierra Leone Parliament Committee on Transport and Aviation issued out a statement to the SLPA and NCP calling for the issue to be resolved on Wednesday 13 February.
“That all bank accounts of the TPMS be unfrozen to enable it meets it corporate responsibilities,” the letter from parliament states.
The executive order has been interpreted by many as the President treating Parliament with contempt.
Some say that the President was not properly informed about the whole issue before he appended his signature to such an order.
That the President action has the potential of scaring away investors, that their businesses are not safe when government changes hands in Sierra Leone.
That President Bio’s action depicts desperation on the part of the government to give the CTN contract to their own boys for which it has been reported that office has already been created for such.