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Business News Tue, 18 Jun 2019

Akufo-Addo will soon speak on MPS project controversies - Minister

Deputy Minister for Transport Titus Glover says President Akufo-Addo will soon rule on emerging issues from the Meridian Port Services (MPS) project at the Tema port.

According to him, the ruling of the President he believes will bring finality to the controversies at the port about the MPS project.

"The unions met his Excellency the President and he has given his word that within six weeks he will speak on the matter so it's our hope and prayer that when the president speaks at least all parties will be satisfied, because of the competition with the trans-Atlantic, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Ghana and Cote D'Ivoire in terms of transit trade we need to put systems and infrastructures in place that can support and that is why we have this MPS project to increase..............so that we have more containers coming into our country that will be....," he said in an interview with Joy FM.

MPS demands 11% increase in handling charges Demands for tariff increment by the Meridian Port Services (MPS) from the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) are heightening tension over the operationalisation of the new terminal facility, come June 28, 2019.

The MPS, which, per a concessionaire contract signed in 2015, is expected to take over the operations of the Tema Port, is asking the GPHA to adjust container handling charges by 11 per cent.

Anxiety among port workers was raised by a letter from the MPS addressed to the Director General of the GPHA, Mr Michael Luguje, a copy of which the Daily Graphic sighted, asking the authority to grant an 11 per cent increment in port tariffs, including marine, cargo and terminal charges, to reflect provisions in the concession agreement and contract, after having earlier slapped a 9.1 per cent increment on handling tariffs on port users.

The letter, signed by the Chief Finance Officer of the MPS, Mr Sunil Bansal, on May 24, 2019, said the tariffs for the new terminal had been drawn in line with the provisions of the deed of amendment of June 12, 2015 and would, therefore, want the GPHA to grant the request within the schedule clauses of the original concession agreement.

The tariffs cut across container handling charges, vessel berth charges and other port user fees. Some port users said when implemented, it would increase the general cost of doing business at the Tema Port.

In the letter, the MPS argued that considering that the new terminal would become operational on June 28, 2019, the request ought to be granted early to enable port users to become accustomed to them.

Source: primenewsghana.com
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