TUC Wants Gov't To Renegotiate Meridian Port Expansion Project
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has asked the government to review its contract with the Meridian Port Services Ltd (MPS). According to TUC Secretary General, Dr. Yaw Baah, the existing contract will cause financial loss to the state.
Some workers of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority last week embarked on a peaceful protest to urge the government to review the Port expansion project contract.
However, the government is yet to comment on the matter.
Speaking at the May Day Parade, Dr. Yaw Baah impressed upon the government to act on the matter.
“Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority and other operators at the port are going to lose huge revenue that may lead to the collapse of many businesses. This will translate into massive job losses in the maritime industry. GPHA may declare over 1,400 workers redundant in 2019 alone. If the contract is not reviewed and .. starts operations, Ghana will surely lose billions of dollars in revenue.”
The TUC Secretary-General also asked the government to work towards improving the pension scheme.
“What the working people of Ghana are demanding is a renewed social contract that guarantees safe working environment and universal access pension… That guarantees protection from discrimination and false labour as well as total elimination of child labour in all forms.
“We believe that Ghana has what it takes to protect workers' rights and to provide universal social protection including universal access to pension if there is political will to do it.”
The terminal 3 port expansion deal was signed in 2015. Parliament in 2016 granted a tax waiver to the tune of 832 million dollars to MPS to enable it to import some equipment it will be needing for the project into the country.
The port is expected to be the largest cargo port in West Africa, and one of the best in Africa, with a capacity of 3.5 million 20-foot equivalent unit (TEU) per annum.
Meridian Port Services (MPS), the company that is undertaking the Tema Port Expansion project, has already announced that the first batch of cranes for the project are being loaded to set sail from Shanghai to Tema .
This is after the final inspection and approval of the fully-assembled cranes, underwent the testing cycle.
The first batch of cranes are expected to arrive at the Tema Port on 19th December .
The Tema Port Expansion project is expected to be completed by 2019.
The project cost has since been reduced to 1.2 billion dollars, following the completion of the actual cost of implementation.
MPS Limited has been working on the expansion project since 2016.
The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority has a thirty percent stake in the company.
Fifteen percent is guaranteed, while the remaining is expected to be obtained through the re-injection of royalties due to the GPHA.
Meridian Port Services, which is funding the project under a public-private-partnership (PPP) program, is one of three companies involved in a joint venture with the Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority (GPHA) to undertake the expansion.
The other two companies are Bolloré Africa Logistics and APM Terminals.