Private firm behind the construction of Tema Port expansion project, Meridian Port Services (MPS), is fighting off claims by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) that, the project will lead to job losses.
According to CEO of MPS, Mohammed Samara, the project will rather result in the creation of close to 400,000 jobs, when completed and is fully operationalised.
He told journalist on Tuesday that when completed, the new port will become the biggest port in Africa.
Mr Samara explained that the new port will operate around the clock which will require the services of more truck drivers, immigration and Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) officers as well as officials from the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).
“On every, job scale, we need more…so theirs is huge direct and indirect jobs for the stakeholders of this [Tema] Port,” the CEO stated.
The Trades Union Congress has been agitating with claims of job losses and loss of revenue to the state due to the Tema port expansion project which when fully complete will make the Tema port the biggest on the continent.
Leader of the labour union, Dr. Anthony Yaw Baah, addressing a gathering at the Black Star Square on May 1, to mark this year’s International Day of Workers, reiterated his call to President Akufo-Addo review the contract to save some 1,400 jobs at the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) alone.
“Our analysis show that when the new terminal commences operations in June…Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and other operators at the Tema Port are going to lose huge revenues that may lead to the collapse of many container-related businesses [and] this will translate into massive job losses in the maritime industry,” Dr. Baah directed his complaints at MPS.
He also claimed that the company had been granted some $800 million in tax concessions as part of the deal which he described as “monopolistic”.
However, the MPS boss does not see a situation where permanent employers will lose their jobs. Mr Samara said they are relocating all their employers who number about 400, from the present port to the new Terminal 3.
Chief Executive Officer of MPS, Mohammed Samara addressing journalists
With the port enhanced to handle more cargo, will lead to the creation of approximately 400,000 job values.
“If we move the connectivity of the port to a level of 60% - 70% [the highest in the port industry standards], this means the cost of the freight will drop [and] less money will leave the economy and more money will remain in the pockets of people.
“This will translate into a trade value in the range of 14% - 17% [$1 billion] per annum as the added value of our economy” which will also “translate into 400,000 job values” in the country, he projected.
Tema Port Expansion Project
MPS is taking Tema Port to another level through an ambitious expansion project which is unprecedented in the history of the port industry in sub-Saharan Africa.
The project involves the building of a breakwater and an access channel harbouring deep-water berths to accommodate larger vessels with sophisticated port handling equipment.
The Tema Port Expansion is designed to provide a world-class harbour infrastructure for the next 100 years.