The acting general manager of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority, Captain H. Bloomer, has revealed his plan to transform that institution to one the country could be proud of in the future.
In a brief chat with Awoko, he emphasized that, “I have been in the port for quite a while and having attained this position, my plan is to make the port profitable so that it can not only live from day to day as we have been doing in the past, but also have reserves to invest in other areas so that we can acquire more equipment in marine craft and also at the end of it all improve the lot of the workers.”
Captain Bloomer, who took over under a month ago, further explained that, “the government has a plan to privatize certain areas of the port and to transform it to a landlocked,” and boasted “that again is my baby as I’ve been attached to it for the past eight years as I have been the coordinator.”
He further stressed that, “I’ve supervised phase one of the port development and fully involved in phase two. I want to make the port a place that the country can be proud of in the future.”
Commenting on the issue of equipment, he said, “I have successfully negotiated with the suppliers of the service, – Meridian Express Services-they used to charge us fifty dollars an hour which I have brought down to twenty five dollars”. He went on, “but there is a bigger company by the name of Alliance which I am still in negotiation with and hopefully they will also make some reduction,” and revealed that, “when I took over I inherited a debt of over 1.5 billion Leones meant for fuel, NASSIT and the National Revenue Authority (NRA).”
This, he proudly said, had been settled even though they were not accrued during his administration and further disclosed an increase in the portage and rent fees after ten years, indicating that it would bring in more returns for the revenue base.”Definitely, he said, it would take some time, as “I did in such a way that even the consignees are not adverse to the increase because it was done in a very nice way for which they understood after explanations”.
Captain Bloomer further revealed how he had cut down drastically the expenditure on petty cash, stressing that, “when I came in I asked for a break down and I found out that for example for the month of December there was something like over sixty million Leones spent on petty cash alone.”
However he disclosed that, “I have brought that figure down to about 30%, which has brought some unpleasantness among some staff.”