MONROVIA – The amended Liberia Maritime Act which scraps the entity of tenure positions has made it possible for the nomination of Emmanuel Reeves and Cllr. Margaret Ansumana though they have previously served two terms at the entity.
Their nomination recently by President George Weah as commissioners of the Maritime Authority was greeted with criticisms on social media with many, including Mulbah K. Yorgbor, calling for the withdrawal of the nominations.
Yorgbor, a former employee of the Maritime Authority posted to Facebook, “The President should withdraw the appointments of Emmanuel Reeves and Cllr. Margaret Ansumana at the Liberian Maritime Authority. They have served their two full tenures. No further renewal is allowed by law of if there’s a new law, please make it public. We know CDC doesn’t the manpower to fill these roles but they don’t have the break the law. Ask for help. You won’t die.”
On September 30, 2020, President George Weah submitted before the Legislature a bill calling for the complete cancellation of tenured positions at the Maritime Authority to grant him full authority over the institution.
Plenary then mandated Speaker Chambers to constitute a specialized committee dominated by the Committee on Judiciary headed by to review the bill and report on Wednesday.
In its report, the committee made a slight change to President’s Weah’s version by upholding tenure for the Commissioner but eliminating tenure for the deputy commissioners; and at the same time creating assisting commissioner positions.
According to the Committee, the power of the President to appoint assistant commissioners is “based on the fact that the time it takes to train, capacitate and deploy maritime personnel in the competitive environment lends itself to the need to constantly have a corps of maritime professionals undergoing “in service training so that no unexpected absence of personnel can create a catastrophe void in maritime operations.
The amended act also empowers the President to appoint a commissioner and deputy commissioner with the consent of the Liberian Senate but the assistant commissioner will only be subject to the approval of the Board of Directors.