Business News of 2014-03-23

Prez Mahama seeks partnership in port expansion

President John Dramani Mahama on Friday hinted that government would need between $ 600 million and One billion dollars to expand the Tema Port, to accommodate the huge volume of goods.

He said all over the world, the development of every country depended on public- private partnership, and therefore, called on the private sector interested in the expansion projects, to draw synergies with the Ghana Ports and Harbours for the execution.

President Mahama gave this hint when he inaugurated a number of handling equipment of the Meridian Port Services at Tema. The handling equipment included Ultra- modern ship to shore and ship to ship cranes which now provide faster services than the previous manual ones that were used.

The cranes equipped with modern features would help to boost terminal capacity on the water front significantly, and also add to the productivity, enabling faster completion of vessel operation.

The President said Ghana had the capacity to become the coastal hub of the West African sub- region, on condition that it took its responsibilities shoulder high, and urged potential partners not to hesitate to partner government.

He said importers everywhere were interested in faster and efficient delivery, and urged workers at the ports and harbours to handle their activities with dispatch, to motivate more businesses into the country.

President Mahama said expansion works had already began at the Takoradi Port, and hoped the expansion of the Tema Port, would further open up more business frontiers to neighbouring countries.

The President said apart from improving the ports and harbours, government was also reviving the railway and road transport to provide Ghanaians and neighbours traveling alternatives.

He said apart from the Takoradi- Kumasi railway line, government would also construct the Tema- Akosombo railway lines that would link the Volta Lake to Buipe in the Northern Region.

Mr Mohammed Samara, Chief Executive Officer of Meridian Port Services, promised his outfit would provide transport and adequate infrastructure into the port to ease congestion.

He said the introduction of the cranes would create additional jobs for more Ghanaians, and promised that his company would respect the rules and regulations governing trade and commerce in the port.

Alhaji Asoma Banda, Board Chairman of the Company, said apart from establishing a four megawatts electricity plant at the port, the company would continue to ensure safety and efficiency in the premises.