Accra, Sept.10, GNA- President John Agyekum Kufuor on Friday appealed to the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) Board to endeavour to maximise the efficiency of their operations to contribute effectively to the country's socio-economic development.
He said the GHPA had not performed creditably to the consciousness of the people, therefore the Board should try to restore this consciousness for the Authority to maximise the efficiency in its operations for the country's socio-economic development. President Kufuor made the appeal when he administered the oaths of office and secrecy to members of the Board and the Maritime Authority Board (MAB) at the Castle, Osu.
Members of the GPHA Board were, Mr Brian Adomako, Chairman, Mr Ben Owusu-Mensah, Director-General of GPHA, Mr Emmanuel Opoku Acting Managing Director of the Ghana Railways Company Limited (GRCL) and Mr Solomon Abam Quartey, of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce.
The rest were Mr Kofi Mbiah, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers Council (GSC), Mr Gordon Anim, Director of the Tema Port, Mr Nestor P. Galley, Director of the Takoradi Port, Alhaji M.N.D. Jawula, Acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Ports, Harbours and Railways (MPHR) and Mr Theophilus Afful, representative of the GPHA Workers. Members of the Maritime Authority Board were, Mr W.K. Ansa-Otu, Chairman, Mr Frank Sarpong, Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Rear Admiral J.K. Gbenah of the Ghana Navy, Mr Ben Owusu-Mensah, Director-General of the GPHA, Mr Kofi Mbiah, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers Council (GSC) and Mr Jonathan Addo Allotey, of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The rest were, Mr Joseph William Sutherland, Volta River Authority (VRA), Mr Peter I. Azumah, Shipping Commission and Mrs Joana Botchway, Lecturer at the Regional Maritime Academy (RMA).
President Kufuor said the two institutions were very critical for the country's security, revenue mobilisation, international relations and socio-economic development.
He said the GPHA was a very sensitive and important revenue mobilisation institution to generate a lot of revenue but the revenue declared to the Government was only a fraction, the Board must therefore maximise the efficiency in their operations.
President Kufuor said most of the containers at the ports and harbours leave their destination illegally and this should not be allowed to continue with the investments made by the state in terms of salaries and other logistic support to the workers.
"When the GPHA turn round to cheat the nation then the GPHA will fail, let us put an end to this canker", he said.
President Kufuor said now that the ports served most of the neighbouring land-locked countries the volume of cargo had increased and with such an increase in cargo should generate enough revenue and satisfy the neighbouring countries to operate with their Ghanaian counterparts.
He said with the Board being aware of these challenges, they should discharge their duties to reverse the trend.
To the MAB, President Kufuor said the ports and harbours continued to play an important role in the country's development although it had no shipping line.
He said the Board should show more innovation to draw the Government's attention to the changes in the shipping world because they were expected to work and draw up policies and offer advice in the sector, especially on seafarers to the Government for implementation. Mr Brian Adomako, Chairman of the GPHA Board said the Board has instituted some security measures in place to improve on the efficiency in their operations.
He said the inclusion of the private sector in operations at the ports had generated a lot of interest in their operations by neighbouring countries prepared to learn from Ghana.
Mr Adomako said the relations between the workers and the management had improved.
Mr W.K. Ansah-OtuChairman of the MAB said the problem in the sector was with training of seafarers and pledged that with the new Maritime Act, the Board would endeavour to improve on the performance of the sector. 10 Sept. 04