The Transport Minister has admonished shareholders of the Meridian Port Services (MPS) to fast-track the construction of the Tema Hospital Road.
Kwaku Ofori Asiamah says this will ensure that residents within and around the area will have the full or maximum benefits of the newly developed Terminal 3 port.
He believes that for the new Terminal 3 operated by MPS to achieve the best, all its associated infrastructure, especially, the Tema Hospital road which is part of the agreement has to be constructed to enable the residents to reap the best of that establishment.
“We’ve said it many times that we cannot put up this edifice (Terminal 3) without the associated infrastructure facility, especially, the roads, to make turnaround time easier and cheaper.
“Because if your port becomes effective, it is not only the activities at the port but associated infrastructure and since we set up ourselves from 2017 to today, we have not been able to move forward with it. We cannot start the full operation of this port without the hospital road being constructed”, he noted.
Mr Asiamah made this observation when he, together with the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, embarked upon an unannounced visit to the newly constructed Terminal 3 at the port on Thursday.
Construction of the Tema Hospital road has been on the radar of the management of MPS. However, disagreements over the structure of the facility have delayed the commencement of that project.
To the Transport minister, the country will not sit down and watch the operations at the port being hampered by disagreements over the structure of the Tema Hospital road project, insisting that in any difficult situation, there is a solution.
On his part, Mr Ofori-Atta recounted how revenue leakages at the Tema port was affecting the country’s GDP and expressed the hope that with 80% of GPHA’s activities contracted to MPS, revenue leakages at the port will be a thing of the past.
“We’ve had perennial problems of our revenues from Customs and it is quite disgraceful giving what is happening in our neighbouring countries and where we should be.
“So, this year for example, whilst domestic revenue is gone up for about 34%, Customs is sort of lagging behind but by your intervention, you are going to take about 80% of the container business which is, therefore, going to be a key aspect of the revenue. And we are looking to ensure that the revenue leakages we experience in GPHA will be completely eliminated”, he said.
He added “But you came into this investment thinking Ghana, thinking West Africa. As you know last week Ghana was selected to host the Headquarters of Africa Free Trade Continental Agreement (AFTCA). So, indeed, as partners, we are transforming our 30 million people and 50 billion GDP into potentially 1.3 billion people and 3 trillion GDP.
“So, that now becomes the level of potential profitability if we do this work well. So, even as you think of your phase 2 and 3, there should be the beginning of the thinking that this thing is bigger than we have envisioned and therefore what should we do?”
He is confident that once this vision is achieved, it will open the country up to “incredible potential foreign resources and for customers’ duties”.