The Senior and Junior Staff Unions of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), have called on the President to as a matter of urgency terminate the appointment of the Board Chairman, Peter Mac Manu.They said his removal would bring sanity into the operations of the Takoradi and Tema ports.
They also expressed disappointment at the behaviour and unruly activities of the chairman, which had the potential to ruin the operations of the GPHA.
The union-led by Brother John Aseeph, chanted: “Peter Mac Manu must go; he is intimidating management, he is destroying our port, the port is not the family of Chairman” during a press conference to drum home their frustration.
According to them, Mr Mac Manu had obtained a contract of over GHc 4 million for the wiring of the newly constructed electrical and materials Block of GPHA and also facilitating a Liquefied Natural Gas)(LNG) project and had also asked the authority to pay $200,000 for 25 years.
“He has seven companies in the ports, fives stevedore companies and two cleansing companies. He is using his position to circumvent the Procurement Process in order to acquire a tug boat (Tema Manhean) spare parts that have been procured to refurbish this tug.”, they claimed.
The Union members hinted that the Chairman had attempted to sell a 24VDC Caterpillar engine starter sold at GHc9,000.00 from Mantrac to the authority at GHc30,000 from his supply company and he is also putting pressure on management to pay over GHc10 million to Britak Steel Company over a matter that was is on court.
On Meridian Ports Service (MPS), the union alleged that due to some infractions in the concessions agreement between GPHA and the company, the Vice President, who chairs the Ghana’s Economic Management Team, through the Minister of Transport, set up a review committee chaired by Mr Titus Glover, Deputy Minster, to re-examine the agreement, “but to date the committee’s report is still lying on the desk of the Minister, Kwaku Asiamah”.
Mr Aseeph explained that PNDC Law 60 stipulates that GPHA has the sole mandate to charge port dues but the concession granted 90 percent to MPS, adding that, the concessionaire was free to without approval from the guarantor, to adjust tariffs to reflect the variations.
“The MPS are not an Internal Container Depot (ICD) but per the concession, they will be doing deveining. They have the right to provide services to any eligible vessel entering the operational area. The concession stipulated that all containers will be stevedored by MPS. The existing royalty will drop from 25 percent to five percent and the term is 35 years from date of operation for an investment that can be recouped in 10 years,” they added.
The Union Chairman said, “The contract is bad and has to be reviewed. Indeed, the review has been done but some powers are sitting on the report. For what reason do you play with the life of Ghanaians? We are giving the president two weeks; if we don’t hear anything, we will advise ourselves.”
Other allegations included the use of the Naval base for oil commercial activities with the proceeds not going through government coffers adding, as a union, we are not anti-investment nor against Public Private Partnership (PPP), but we believe that transparency is paramount to ensure that the workers and the country benefited immensely and not the private pockets of some individuals.”
All efforts to get Mr. Mac Manu to comment on the allegations have not been possible.