Members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Roads and Transport have paid a working visit to the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority to familiarize themselves with ongoing activities there.
Members of the committee were received by the acting Director General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Paul Asare Ansah, his management staff and the Chief Executive Officer of Meridian Ports Services, Mohammed Samara.
The purpose of the visit was for the committee to get themselves acquainted with the projects underway at the port, the progress made so far and the challenges been faced, that may require the intervention of government.
Samuel Ayeh-Paye, the Chairman on Transport and Roads stated that “our mandate is to assist the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Roads and Highways, and the Ministry of Aviation to succeed in the day-to-day activities. Also that all these Ministries and theiragencies and departments perform,” he explained.
The Acting Director General of GPHA, Paul Asare Ansah highlighted the projects underway, such as the ongoing paperless system and the Tema Port Expansion among others.
He stressed the need for the port infrastructural fund established by the port authority.
“Some of this foreign funding makes it difficult for Ghanaian companies to be practically involved in development of these facilities. One of the ways that we have decided to adopt to offset some of these cost and some of these challenges is to come up with a portdevelopment fund which would provide us with sustainable means of funding port infrastructure, and port modernization,” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer of Meridian Ports Services, Mohammed Samara explained that on the Tema port expansion project, about 100 hectares of land has been reclaimed with more reclamation works ongoing.
Members of the committee proceeded to the Tema Shipyard, where the General Manager for Business Development there, Alice Torkornu gave a history and main business activities of the Tema Shipyard.
She said in spite of the deplorable state of equipment at the Shipyard, GPHA’s takeover has resulted in some positive results for the shipyard.
“We have handled 28 vessels so far and these are big vessels. These are not small vessels at all and each time the owners have come back to say we did not think that you could do it, we are very delighted and very impressed about the job. So, we believe that a little push for the yard would create jobs for this nation, would lead to training and development for local capacity building, and the yard would be able to contribute its quota when it comes to taxes and duties for the government,”she opined.
The chairman of the committee, Samuel Ayeh-Paye pledged the commitment of the committee to the management and staff of the Tema Shipyard.
The committee was taken through some principal areas of the Port including the Fishing harbour, the various quay sides in the Port and the Tema Port expansion site among others.