The Minister Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, has asked shareholders of the Meridian Port Services (MPS) to fast-track the construction of the Tema Hospital Road.
That, he said, is to ensure that residents within and around the area would have the full or maximum benefits of the newly developed Terminal 3 port.
He made the call on Thursday, July 11, 2019, when he, together with the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, embarked upon an unannounced visit to the newly constructed Terminal 3 at the port on.
“We cannot start the full operation of this port without the hospital road being constructed”, he noted.
Mr. Asiamah expressed the belief that for the new Terminal 3 operated by MPS to achieve the best, all its associated infrastructure, especially, the Tema Hospital road which is part of the agreement, has to be constructed to enable the residents reap the best of that establishment.
According to him, “we have said it many times that we cannot put up this edifice [Terminal 3] without the associated infrastructure facility, especially, the roads, to make turnaround time easier and cheaper.”
He added that “because if your port becomes effective, it is not only the activities at the port but associated infrastructure and since we set up ourselves from 2017 to today, we have not been able to move forward with it.”
Construction of the Tema Hospital road has been part of the plans of the management of MPS.
However, disagreements over the structure of the facility have delayed the commencement of that project.
But the Minister has made it clear that the country would not sit down and watch the operations at the port be hampered by disagreements over the structure of the Tema Hospital road project, insisting that in any difficult situation, there was a solution.
On his part, Mr. Ofori-Atta recounted how revenue leakages at the Tema port were affecting the country’s Gross Domestic Product and expressed the hope that with 80 percent of Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority’s activities contracted to MPS, revenue leakages at the port would be a thing of the past.
“We have had perennial problems of our revenues from Customs and it is quite disgraceful giving what is happening in our neighbouring countries and where we should be,” he said.
” So, this year for example, whilst domestic revenue is gone up for about 34%, Customs is sort of lagging behind but by your intervention, you are going to take about 80% of the container business which is therefore going to be a key aspect of the revenue. And we are looking to ensure that the revenue leakages we experience in GPHA will be completely eliminated”, he added.
The Finance Minister noted that “but you came into this investment thinking Ghana, thinking West Africa. As you know last week Ghana was selected to host the Headquarters of Africa Free Trade Continental Agreement (AFTCA).”
“So, indeed, as partners we are transforming our 30 million people and 50 billion GDP into potentially 1.3billion people and 3 trillion GDP. So, that now becomes the level of potential profitability if we do this work well. So, even as you think of your phase 2 and 3, there should be the beginning of the thinking that this thing is bigger that we have envisioned and therefore what should we do?”
He is confident that once this vision is achieved, it will open the country up to “incredible potential foreign resources and for customers’ duties”.
BY Melvin Tarlue