‘Govt will encourage private sector to grow the maritime industry’

 Mr Asiamah (middle) cutting the tape to inaugurate the Prime Meridian office

Mr Asiamah (middle) cutting the tape to inaugurate the Prime Meridian office

Government is committed to encourage the private sector to grow the maritime industry to help strengthen the economy, Kweku Ofori  Asiamah, Minister for Transport, has said.

“The government is determined to protect the Ghanaian private sector to develop the maritime industry, which is an important part of the economy, to become one of the best in Africa,” he said.

Commissioning an office for Prime Meridian Dock Company Limited (PMD) to kick-start a Floating Dock Project at the Takoradi Port, Mr. Asiamah said that government and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), would provide about 370 million dollars under a Public–Private Partnership to build multi-purpose container terminals at the Takoradi and Tema ports to boost business activity.

The minister said the government would ensure that the private businesses in the maritime sector were supported to become buoyant.

“The duty of government is to help the private sector with the policies and enabling environment, so that they can invest without impediment and provide the needed jobs,” he said.

The Director General of GPHA, Paul Ansah, said that the authority has constituted the Port Infrastructure Development Fund Committee to draw modalities for the  establishment  of sustainable financial capacity for respectable equity to make the country  independent from foreign  companies and  reduce borrowings, so that earnings for businesses do not become capital flights.

“It is also to reduce the poverty cycle of the country’s economy and make the ports more vibrant,” he said, adding that “by the next 10 years, the maritime industry will not borrow.”

Mr. Ansah also said GPHA would secure a partner to take over Tema  Drydock by the end  of this year, to fabricate parts for the Floating  Production Storage Offshore (FPSO) vessels, to make Ghana’s dream of becoming a hub of the oil and gas industry a reality.

“We are going to give more attention to global haulage enclave to support local  initiatives at the  Apowa Commodity Village and   flood Takoradi with transit  business  as we did  in the early 2000s,” he said.

The multipurpose container terminals at both Takoradi and Tema ports, he explained, would ensure that exports outstripped  imports and provide a lifeline for the economy.

“In partnership with Export Development EXIM Bank, Ghana Free Zone Board (GFZB) and Ghana Exports Association, we are going to develop an integrated strategy aimed  at growing  the export sector such that it will be 70-30  per cent  in favour of exports,” he said.

Mr. Ansah congratulated Stanley Ahorlu, Chief Executive Officer of PMD for venturing into the maritime industry to build the capacity of the infrastructure.

He said PMD would support the oil and gas industry to reduce about 50 per cent of vessels seeking repairs in Las Palmas and South Africa.

FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, TAKORADI 

 

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