Jubilation Galore at GPHA! *As workers commend Akufo-Addo for MPS deal

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THERE was jubilation Galore at the premises of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) in Tema yesterday.

The development was a result of the unionized workers of the company to assemble in red infront of the port of Tema to commend Pesident Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his commitment to put finality to the Tema ports expansion concession agreement between the government and the Meridian Port Service (MPS) Limited.

This follows the President assurance in a release by the Transport Minister, Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah indicating there will be no job losses.

Speaking in an interview with journalists, the members of the union of GPHA who assembled in red infront of the port of Tema asked Or Akufo-Addo to include them in the committee responsible to review the concession agreement which is expected to last for next two weeks.

They noted that the President Akufo-Addo is expected to meet owners of meridian ports and services and management of GPHA to today for further engagements on the issue.

According to the members of the union, the president has requested for additional two weeks to solve their concern.

The MPS in 2015 signed a deal with the Ghana government under former President John Dramani Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government through the GPHA.

The deal was expected to help expand the Tema Port to an unprecedented and enviable status in the history of the port industry in the Sub-Saharan Africa

The agreement would grant the MPS the exclusive right to handle eligible vessels such as full container vessels carrying 200 equivalent units (TEUs) or more.

The provisions in the agreement give MPS the right to charge and retain all payments made in respect of vessel dues, as well as berth occupancy charges.

The agreement would also grant MPS the right to charge and retain port dues until discharge date of all the concessionaire’s obligations under the financing agreements, as confirmed by the lenders.

The recommendations by the inter-ministerial review committee which was set up by President Akufo-Addo in January 2018 to assess the proposals submitted by the GPHA for the review of the 35-year concession agreement.

The committee which was headed by a Deputy Minister of Transport, Mr Daniel Titus- Glover, presented its recommendations to President Akufo-Addo in February 2018, and
a White Paper is yet to be issued on them.

Source:Freeman KORYEKPOR AWLESU

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