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01.03.2007 General News

Ministry kicks against takeover

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After entering into a management agreement with a foreign company, Meridian Ports Services (MPS), officials of the Ministry of Harbours and Railways are seeking to prevent the contractors from assuming the management of activities at the Tema Port.

According to the Chronicle newspaper, The Ministry entered into an agreement of 70 – 30 in favour of the government to allow MPS to manage the container terminal at the Tema port.

The Sector Minister Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Ekumfi is reported to have said the contract had been suspended and that the issue was being considered to include indigenous Ghanaian companies in the deal.

MPS however made an attempt in the absence of the Minister when he travelled last week to takeover the management of the container terminal in spite of the directive by causing to be published in some newspapers in a joint statement with the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority that it would begin operations by March 31, 2007.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Association Stevedoring Companies (GASCO) also held a press conference in which they appealed to the President to intervene in the matter.

The association requested the President to consider the plight of the indigenous Ghanaian business because their interest was at stake.

They urged the President to “call all the parties involved to the table to discuss this issue and more importantly to take steps ensuring that indigenous businesses at the port are given the requisite incentives to grow and thrive.”

The association also asked for the exclusive use of berths 3-12 to create an indigenous entrepreneurial alternative to the port industry and said the takeover “would not be in the nations' interest as it will create an avenue for capital flight which otherwise could have been used to finance local projects and plough back into the national economy.”

Source: The Chronicle