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    MPS project: Mahama did not sell GPHA – Former Director General

    Former Director General of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Richard Anamoo has cleared the air that former John Dramani Mahama sold the Tema Port to Meridian Ports Services (MPS).

    The former GPHA boss is calling on the general public to treat with contempt every report that suggests that soaring prices of imported goods were due to the selling of GPHA to a foreign company by former President John Dramani Mahama.

    His explanation comes at the back of a viral video in which the Bono Regional Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Bernard Antwi Boasiako popularly known as ‘Abronye’ was sighted granting a studio interview stating why President Akufo-Addo was unable to reduce taxes and duties paid at the port.

    In the said video, Mr Abronye stated that the president’s inability was because Ghana had lost control of the port.

    But the former GPHA boss detailed what accounts for the increasing cost of products in the country.

    According to him, the Tema Port was given on a concessional agreement by former President John Agyakum Kufour in 2001 for 20 years.

    “Would we say President Kufour sold the Tema Port?” he quizzed.

    He said the NDC will no longer tolerate what he termed as the usual “propaganda of elements within the NPP who would like to peddle falsehood anytime they get the microphones.”

    Describing the situation as the “stock in trade of elements in NPP,” he said the NPP will fail as similar lies came up in 2021 but fell flat because former President Mahama did not sell GPHA to MPS.

    He explained that “In early 2000, the then President, Jerry John Rawlings took a decision to expand the Tema Port facility so they accessed a Dutch credit facility to start the first phase.

    “We dredged the port constructed by the first president, Kwame Nkrumah and NDC lost power in the process”, he said.

    “When President John Agyekum Kufour took over in 2001, he ignored what NDC had initiated and proceeded to establish a new company to take over from GPHA.

    “It was just at a management meeting when we were told that a new company was going to be formed called Meridian Port Services (MPS) and GPHA would take only 30% shares.”

    “That was the end of the story, there was neither evaluation nor letter and that the new company will take the investment and everything”, he disclosed.

    “Will we then say that President Kufour sold GPHA to MPS?”, he queried.

    “So, if Abronye said the Tema Port was sold, then it was sold by President Kufour and not John Dramani Mahama”, he further clarified.

    The D-G narrated that when Prof John Evans Atta Mills took over in 2009, the concession was not terminated,” and of course, if it were the NPP, they would have terminated it like they try to do with at the Takoradi Port”.

    But with principle, the NDC allowed the contract to continue.

    Documentation according to the former D-G, talks about concession and not a sale of the whole port adding, “Nobody including John Dramani Mahama sold the Tema Port”.

    “MPS existed before Professor Mills came in and also before John Mahama also came in.

    The only thing John Mahama did was to amend the existing concession. As of 2015, the first concession was left with 9 years to expiration and as at that time, MPS only constructed the terminal”, he said.

    ”Under the expanded agreement, the new terminals that were going to be constructed were going to be like a new port where almost about 4 kilometres of brick water in open sea, reclaim over 100 hectors, create facilities that could take about 17 beds meaning at full capacity, dredge the harbour to minus 16 or 17 which MPS agreed to construct coupled with the motorway but MPS only created 4 beds for their own operations and were to operate that for 35 years”,

    He said that the remaining 13 beds were available for other interested private investors.

    ”MPS is not controlling the Tema Port.

    Duties and taxes are charged by customs and GPHA so if imported goods are expensive, it is because the duties are too high.

    And if the duties are too high, it will impact the prices of goods in the market “, he clarifies.

    He described the current customs regime as punitive and a disincentive for cargoes to be brought to the Tema Port.

    “Now, I am told that MPS wants to construct the fifth bed and have applied to GPHA for permission, if it is true that John Mahama sold the Tema Port to MPS, why then did they write to seek permission from GPHA?

    This means their limitation is with the four beds”, the former D-G questioned.

    “Also, if it is true that John Mahama sold the Tema Port to MPS, how come MPS is paying huge dividends to GPHA?

    As of 2021, GPHA got a dividend of $70 million from MPS while in 2022, GPHA got over $60 million and over from MPS”, he further queried.

    He asked, “Why the money from MPS is not used to procure equipment to replace damaged ones at the Tema Port?

    Why has the dividend from the Tema Port been diverted into the Boankra Inland Project, a private project, who owns that project”? he begs for answers.

    He further asked, “If John Dramani Mahama sold the Tema Port to MPS, how come MPS is paying huge dividends to GPHA which the government of Akufo Addo has as at that time diverted $33 million into the Boankra project which the government is not a shareholder.

    There is no railway line as we speak even with the $33 million”, he decried.

    Source: classfmonline.com

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