August 31, 2018

NaFAA Hints American Tycoon’s Quest To Build ‘Regional’ Fishery Hub Here
By Justice R. Clarke

MONROVIA, August 19 (LINA) – American millionaire Robert Louis Johnson is mulling the building of a regional ‘fishing port’ in Liberia and talks surrounding that investment are continuing, according to the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) Director General, Emma Glassco.

Business tycoon ‘Bob Johnson’ is an American entrepreneur, media magnate, executive, philanthropist, and investor who co-founded Black Entertainment Television (BET), which was acquired by Viacom in 2001.

His net worth is US$550 million.

Glassco said Johnson is expected to visit Liberia soon for further business discussions with officials of the NaFAA, having expressed “great interest in building a fishing port in Liberia.”

The businessman is said to have initially dispatched at team of experts to Liberia to assess the investment possibilities in the fishery sector, after which he might now come to have an eye-opener of what bringing such investment to Liberia actually means, considering the necessary factors.

The NaFAA boss made the disclosure at the weekend on the Bushrod Island when she jointly addressed the press conference together with a Japanese delegation that ended an assessment of the fishery sector to possibly seal an agreement with Liberia to also construct a centralized fishing facility that will harmonize the fishing activities locally and add value to the venture.

Meanwhile, the discussions with the Japanese, said Glassco, are also taking into account the replication of a factory to manufacture motorized fishing boats by Japanese firm, YAMAHA, as a means of gradually replacing makeshift boats and dug-out canoes currently in use by local fishermen.

“So we are weighing all these options to see which one suits Liberia,” she stated, referring to the ongoing conversations with the Japanese on the one hand, and the American businessman on the other.

Currently, huge fishing vessels, despite registering with Liberian authorities to do business in the country’s territorial waters, would have to berth at ports in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire because Liberia does not have the capacity to accommodate them due to lack of convenient infrastructure.

Liberia is said to be losing a lot of revenue because most of the species caught in its waters by cargos carriers like by the European Union Tuna vessel, are transshipped elsewhere.

Glassco was ambitious to tell the press that when the fishery sector of Liberia is overhauled, considering support from the World Bank Group, European Union, and its bilateral partners, plus the potential for private investment, the NaFAA could be competitive with the National Port Authority in terms being the “gateway” to the country’s economy.

She added that having a fishing port would mean that ships importing containers with frozen fish will berth and offload at such facility which could enable NaFAA to do examination and technical due diligence to the products destined for the Liberian market.


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