GEA urges government to tackle concerns over the Tema port expansion project
The Ghana Employers’ Association (GEA) has brought the attention of government to some concerns of its members operating in the Shipping and Ports industry in order to save their businesses from imminent collapse as a result of the ongoing Tema Port Expansion Project.
These concerns were primarily centred on the following:
- The future of the Companies that undertake Scanner/Inspection services
- The fate of Container Service Companies
- Huge loss of jobs that are likely to be encountered as a result of the project
- Recruitment of new workers to replace existing skilled staff
- Influx of Stevedoring Companies within the Port enclave.
The GEA indicated that in spite of the benefits that the country stands to derive from this project, the Association anxious about the emerging business concerns that are associated with the project.
It was further indicated that with the monopolistic rights of MPS under the project, the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and other operators in the Tema Port such as Terminal Operators, Inland Container Depots (ICDs), Stevedoring companies and Shore handling companies, among others stand the risk of losing huge revenues, that may lead to the collapse of many container-related businesses, Stevedoring Companies, Scanning services and job losses.
Therefore, the following recommendations, among others were made for government’s consideration and intervention:
- That the Ministries of Trade & Industry and Transport take an immediate step to engage operators within the Port enclave to thoroughly discuss and agree on terms that will ensure the uninterrupted business activities of these Companies.
- That the Ministries of Trade & Industry and Transport specifically engage the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and the Meridian Ports Services (MPS) on the issues that have been raised by the operators taking into account the potential unemployment impact, revenue losses and social implications that are likely to be associated with the expansion project.
- In more distinctive terms the GEA requests that the service agreement between the Government of Ghana and the various Scanning and Inspection services must be enforced to avert any estrangement.
- That the Ministry of Transport initiate steps to engage Meridian Port Services (MPS) to absorb the existing experienced employees that are likely to be made redundant in the Inland Container Depots rather than recruiting employees from elsewhere, with the view to reduce the huge job losses.
- That since the Ghana Dock Labour Company (GDLC) has over the years played a major role by being consistent and reliable in the supply of Labour services to the Ports, its services should be continuously being employed to meet the Labour requirement of the new facility.