The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), has paid four million Ghana cedis as dividend to the government from its 2014 accounts.
Mrs. Dzifa Aku Ativor, Minister of Transport who presented the cheque said the payment was the company’s demonstration of its commitment to honoring its statutory obligations.
She said GPHA had embarked on a massive infrastructure development at the port and expressed the hope that more dividends would be paid to the government when the port’s revenue increased.
Mr. Richard Anamoo, Director- General, GPHA in his remarks said the payment was in recognition of the fact that the port was doing well, despite the challenges confronting it.
He said the GPHA would continue to take measures to increase revenue and productivity at the port.
Mr. Anamoo however, appealed to the government to review GPHA tax obligations because a large part of its revenue was ploughed back into infrastructure development at the port.
“We need a lot more investment in the port and reducing our tax obligations to state would go a long way in helping us to achieve our goals,” he said.
Mr. Cassiel Ato Forson, Deputy Minister of Finance, who received the cheque on behalf of the government, said it was gratifying that a state Owned Enterprise (SOE) had paid its dividend to the government.
He admitted that most SOEs were facing challenges but urged them to turn their fortunes round to enable them to also become profitable and honouring their tax obligations to the state.
Mr. Forson said SOEs such as the Electricity Company of Ghana and the Volta River Authority would soon be turned around to enable them to also be in a position to pay dividend to the government.
He said the government was aware of the challenges confronting the GPHA adding that the government would give it the needed support.
He said the government had provided guarantees for loans acquired by most SOEs resulting in the country’s debt to Gross Domestic Product being very high.
“The public perception is that the government is the one borrowing too much but SOEs have taken loans that the government has provided guarantees for,” he said.
The deputy minister, urged SOEs to go in for public private partnership to raise the needed capital for expansion.
He cited the partnership between the GPHA and the Meridian Port Services as an example that other SOEs must emulate.
By David Adadevoh