Member of Parliament for Keta Richard Quashigah has been taken aback following finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta's 'failure' to capture the Keta Port in the 2020 Budget Statement and Economic Policy.
Making a submission on the floor of parliament, Wednesday, as the house perused the statement presented before it, Mr Quashigah expressed “dismay to the fact that having gone through the budget, the Keta Port, for which a director of port has been appointed, was not mentioned.”
It would be recalled that government in April 2018 signed an agreement with Diamond Cement Ghana Limited to begin the construction of a port at Keta.
Transport minister Kwaku Ofori Asiama in a letter dated March 19, 2019 announced the appointment of private legal practitioner Dr. Alexander Y. Adusei Jr as Director for Keta Port although the port was not ready.
Mr. Asiama in the said letter asked the chairman of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority to “take the necessary action to give effect” to the appointment.
Reacting to the development at the time, Quashigah indicated that the people of Keta and its environs would have hailed and applauded the president to the high heavens, were he to have built in the area a full functioning sea port before appointing a director.
"Having a sea port at Keta, is a cherished dream of the people of Keta and its environs as it will automatically lead to a positive socio economic transformation of the area; restoring it to its past glories and above all arrest the ugly unemployment devil, rampaging and devouring what remains a pale shadow of the then proud, gorgeously rich Keta, the then commercial hub of Ghana.
"Sadly however, a sea port does not exist in Keta today for which a director is required. In fact it could be seen as an attempt to ridicule and mock the people of the area by the President, the current father of our homeland.
"If for nothing at all, why wouldn’t the President appoint one of the redundant directors as director for the imaginary Keta port rather than appointing Dr. Adusei bringing the number of directors of ports to five when only two are needed. Perhaps this novelty is yet another 'presidential initiative',” he argued and called for the reversal of the appointment of Adusei since there was no justification for appointing a director to enjoy a monthly salary and allowances of about GHC150,000 for a non-existing port.
"This appointment is unnecessary and a rape on the resources of GPHA and for that matter the Ghanaian taxpayer. Maintaining a director of port a month is estimated to cost between hundred and twenty thousand to a hundred and fifty thousand Ghana cedis", he said.
Justifying government’s decision, deputy transport minister Titus Glover said the director will “supervise the ground work” and act as a “liaison” officer to “engage consultant, architects and the community”.