The Danquah Institute, a public policy and research organisation, on Tuesday called for a re-negotiation of the new Tema Port Terminal contract to ensure value for money and safeguard the interest of the country.
According to the Institute, a critical review of facts obtained from sources including the Inter-Ministerial Committee Report, the current contract between the Ghana Port and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and the Meridian Port Services (MPS), awarded in 2004 did not follow competitive tendering processes under the Public Procurement Law and poses existential threats.
“The contract, when implemented in its current form, GPHA and Ghanaian for that matter, will lose 72 per cent of the 109 million-dollar revenue the GPHA made in 2017,” the Danquah Institute said.
“… At least 1,400 permanent workers as well as other casual employees of GPHA and other companies in Tema and Takoradi will lose their jobs in 2020.”
Mr Edward Kweku Asomani, the Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, at a news briefing in Accra on Tuesday, cautioned that if parties to the construction and operation of a new terminal did not meet to re-negotiate the contract within 60 days, it would resort to a legal action.
Already, he indicated that Institute had informed the shareholders and the board of MPS that the contract was a bad deal and that it would not make GPHA economically viable.
Mr Asomani alleged that the Institute’s investigations revealed that no bids were received from MPS, a consortium formed in 2003 and wondered why it was awarded the contract.
“We discovered that midway through the terminal operations tender, the National Democratic Congress government issued a presidential fiat halting the entire process,” he added.
“Apart from the fact that this directive grossly breached the Public Procurement Rules, it also severely impeded the ability of GPHA to freely and competitively negotiate in the interest of Ghanaians.”
That, he said, ultimately set the stage for a badly negotiated contract that mortgaged the economic interest of Ghanaians to MPS and its foreign shareholders.
Mr Asomani noted that in view of the fact that nearly 70 per cent of the revenue streams of GPHA was from the container operations business, it was fundamentally wrong to have ceded the main source of revenue for GHPA to pay for the contract.