"The Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine has initiated a maritime industry reform," Volodymyr Omelyan, the Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine, said.
According to the Minister, reforming the state enterprise Ukrainian Seaports Authority (SE USPA) is the key in the maritime industry reform.
"Despite the repeated attempt of the Government and the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine to normalize the work of SE USPA, this state enterprise has remained to be a model of inefficiency, corruption and abuse. There are also many questions concerning the management of USPA. In addition, no such resistance there has been anywhere, as from USPA management, against any proposals of the Ministry to organize the work of USPA. All our resolutions are being blocked or ignored. Therefore, we must change USPA management, which will be our first step in the comprehensive maritime industry reform," Volodymyr Omelyan said.
He noted that respective changes had been announced at the beginning of December 2016. "Perhaps, this caused the management, which we are currently changing, to issue to themselves individual bonuses in the amount of UAH 700 thousand to 1.5 million in December 2016. And these are mere officially issued bonuses. We can only imagine the extent of abuses at the state enterprise," the Minister of Infrastructure urged.
The Minister also noted that in order to facilitate the work of USPA, the Ministry has appointed Mr Serhiy Gronsky as its acting CEO. "This is a temporary measure to establish a normal business dialogue between the Ministry and USPA, as well as to stop the abuses that have been occurring in the company. This week, there will be appointed a new acting CEO of USPA, Mr Raivis Veckagans."
The Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine stressed that changing USPA management is one of the stages of the maritime industry upgrading. "The comprehensive reform provides for the establishment of the Maritime Administration, which will take over the full role of USPA. In addition, there will be conducted significant optimization of the company’s structure and staff. The key tasks are changing the management, reforming, and corporatization as required by Ukrainian legislation."
Raivis Veckagans is a citizen of Latvia, with over a 16-year successful experience in management of companies in transportation and logistics sectors, shipping and financial services. He held the positions of a member of the Management Board, Vice-President of JSC Latvian Shipping Company, a member of the Board of Rigas Centralais Terminals, the largest bulk and general cargo processing port terminal in the Baltic States, Chairman of the Board at Riga Container Terminal Ltd.