GPHA faces 1,400 job losses over new automated terminal contract- Danquah Institute

The Danquah Institute, a public policy and research centre, has questioned the rationale behind the award of the new automated terminal contract of the Tema Harbour to Meridian Port Service (MPS).



The institute said the public procurement rules were grossly breached and could lead to revenue loss in excess of two million dollars as well as a possible 1,400 job losses at Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA).


It noted that a further worrying situation was where MPS, under the new contract was allowed to charge new services aside GPHA-approved tariffs without consultation.


Speaking at a press conference yesterday in Accra, Executive Director of Danquah Institute, Mr Edward Kwaku Asomani, threatened legal action if parties involved were unable to agree new terms within 60 days.



In 2015, the board and management of the GPHA took the decision to build another terminal at Tema Harbour.  The decision was taken because of the new highly automated terminal that increased the volume and efficiency of operations at the harbour.


Its successful completion was to make Tema a competitive global shipping hub, not only was this necessitated by the global trend towards automation and competition, but also growth in population, increased economic activity and the corresponding lifestyle choices of Ghanaians as a result of economic growth.


Interestingly, Mr Asomani said, MPS were not among the more than 50 entities who expressed interest of which 20 were shortlisted, mentioning companies like VanOord, Boskalis, Besix. CHEC China Harbour and Jay Cashman who expressed interest.


He said midway through the terminal operations tender, the then National Democratic Congress (NDC) government issued a presidential fiat halting the entire process.


This interference, he explained severely impeded the ability of the GPHA to freely and competitively negotiate in the interest of Ghanaians since GPHA were sidelined during the award of the contract by government to MPS.


“This ultimately set the stage for a badly negotiated contract that mortgaged the economic interest of Ghanaians to MPS and its foreign shareholders for generation, since MPS was given full rights for both construction and operation of the new terminal,” he said.


Mr Asomani indicated that this agreement fetters the ability of GPHA to carry out its mandate as required under section 5 of PNDC law 160, which inter alia “maintained the port facilities, extend, and enlarge as the authority see fit, and regulate the use of a port and of port facilities”.

BY BERNARD BENGHAN                   


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