WORKERS of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) in Tema have commended President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his commitment to put finality to the Tema ports expansion concession agreement between the government and the Meridian Port Service (MPS) Limited.
The commendation follows the President’s assurance in a release by the Transport Minister, Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, indicating that there will be no job losses.
Speaking in an interview with Today yesterday, members of the Union of GPHA who converged wearing red in front of the port of Tema asked President Akufo-Addo to include them in the committee responsible of reviewing the concession agreement which is expected to last for two weeks.
They noted that President Akufo-Addo was expected to meet owners of Meridian Ports and Services and management of GPHA for further engagements on the issue.
According to the members of the union, the President had requested for additional two weeks to solve their concerns.
The MPS in 2015 signed a deal with the Ghana government under former President John Dramani Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government through the GPHA.
The deal was expected to help expand the Tema Port to an unprecedented and enviable status in the history of the port industry in the sub-Saharan Africa
The agreement would grant the MPS the exclusive right to handle eligible vessels such as full container vessels carrying 200 equivalent units (TEUs) or more.
The provisions in the agreement give MPS the right to charge and retain all payments made in respect of vessel dues, as well as berth occupancy charges.
The agreement would also grant MPS the right to charge and retain port dues until discharge date of all the concessionaire’s obligations under the financing agreements, as confirmed by the lenders.
The recommendations by the inter-ministerial review committee which was set up by President Akufo-Addo in January 2018 to assess the proposals submitted by the GPHA for the review of the 35-year concession agreement called for the entire review of the contract, “because it is not in the interest of the GPHA and the country.”
The committee—which was headed by a deputy Minister of Transport, Mr Daniel Titus-
Glover—presented its recommendations to President Akufo-Addo in February 2018, and a White Paper is yet to be issued on them.
Story: Freeman KORYEKPOR AWLESU