Maritime expert, Prince Bagnaba Mba, has called for investments in the PSC Tema Shipyard so as to make it viable and live up to the reason for which it was established.
Mr. Mba said the neglect of that aspect of the national economy by successive governments was inimical to the socio-economic development of the country.
Speaking in an interview with The Ghanaian Times in Accra, the former Head of Department at the Nigerian Institute of Maritime Studies, Lagos, said “calls for the company to be brought under the control of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) ad hoc and won’t solve the long term challenges the company has been bedeviled with more than 40 years after its establishment”.
The Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress, Mr. Kofi Asamoah at the recent May Day celebration at Wa, reiterated his long held view that the GPHA had the capacity to run the shipyard effectively and should be given the first option to do so.
But Mr. Mba said “the call is misplaced because the problem with the Shipyard is the lack of getting the right inputs into the company to change its fortunes”.
He said the company had not seen any development in terms of infrastructure for decades, and until that was done, it would remain the same even if it was brought under the watch of the GPHA.
Mr. Mba said arguments that the shipyard would get the necessary attention from relevant stakeholders if it was brought under the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority were flawed because “if it didn’t receive the attention as a body on its own, how then can it receive the attention as a subsidiary?”
He was at a loss why Ghana was failing to take advantage of the human resource capacity of its citizens to turn around the fortune which had been “submerged in labour agitations over the years”.
He sees the Shipyard as “a neglected state asset which is viable and self-sustaining and can serve other African countries to fix broken- down ships and build new ones to support the economy.
“The shipyard is a national treasure with the potential to create so many jobs for our teeming unemployed youth.
It is meant for shipbuilding and so, imagine how many people will have the opportunity to work there if we had made it to live to its expectation,” he stressed.
Mr. Mba noted that “the concentration on some sectors of the economy which managers think are more lucrative and contributed to the state coffers is misplaced and must be changed so as to harness all the resources for national development.
“There is the need to have a radical transformation and what we (maritime workers) are calling for is, injecting a certain percentage of the national budget to that sector and not just occasionally responding to workers’ agitations and going to bed until they raise the red flag again after a year.”
By Julius Yao Petetsi