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23.09.2005 Business & Finance

5000 Dock Workers To Lose Jobs

By Times
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About 5000 dock workers are likely to lose their jobs if a consortium dominated by foreign shipping companies is allowed to manage the container terminal at the Tema port.

The Ghana Ports Services Consortium was appointed in 2003 by the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) to own and manage the container terminal currently under construction in Tema port pursuant to a 20 year BOT (build, operate and transfer) concession.

This concern was raised by the Ghana Association of Stevedoring Companies (GASCO) in a statement signed by the executive secretary of the association Ms Josephine Nkrumah to enlighten the public on issues regarding the appointment of the consortium. The association explained that hitherto, stevedoring has been the preserve of indigenous business within the ports of Ghana therefore foreign lines had been disallowed from engaging in such businesses which earned substantial revenue to the state.

However, GASCO contended that the appointment of the consortium implied that the operation of stevedoring companies and revenue would reduce by about 70% because 70% of all conventional cargo is containerized and by the terms of the venture, all container cargo would be handled by the operators of the container terminal. It said this amply demonstrated that gradually indigenous businesses are being crippled in this age of much touted golden age of business.