The Director General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Michael Luguje, has disclosed that the Management of GPHA has set the end of the 1st quarter of 2021 as the target to begin the implementation of 20% of containerized cargo bound for the Port of Tema to be handled by GPHA.
“Our hope is that we initiate the discussions by a letter, expecting MPS to be forthcoming with us getting the agreement. Then by the close of March we should be able to have the agreement,” he said.
Speaking at a staff durbar which strictly complied with COVID-19 protocols, the GPHA Boss said patience and prudence had to be exercised over the rights to handle 20% of the cargo volumes because of the unique dynamics of the concession agreement.
He said while pursuing the signing of the agreement to allow GPHA handle 20% of the containerized cargo, towards the latter end of 2020, GPHA were able to emerge successful in handling 10-12% of the said portion in 2020.
“We have travelled a long journey. We had to engage shipping lines to insist that we have to start to implement that 20% while we wait for a signed agreement. It wasn’t an easy one. But thanks to Management and staff we worked together to ensure that at least we managed 10-12% of that volume up to close of year 2020,” he recounted.
The DG recounted the unified efforts of the staff, union and management in persistently making their case to government to review and intervene in the matter of the MPS Terminal 3 Contract over the past years.
The Director General of GPHA, also commended government for heeding to calls by the Authority to handle Reefer Containers at its state of the art reefer terminal.
Michael Luguje also explained the social benefits of the Hybrid system of operations that the GPHA is currently operating as opposed to the sole land lord port authority system of operations.
“We have been able to showcase the advantages of the hybrid system, its impact on the liquidity system and our ability to provide the social requirement of government which is to create jobs.”
The Director of the Port of Tema, Sandra Opoku, called for a concerted effort of staff to attain the 180,000 TEUs target for the year 2021.
“We have to rely on our operators, our logistics staff and everyone combined to ensure that we get our target,” she urged.
Also speaking at the Durbar, the General Manager of Health Services Department of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Dr. Vitus Victor Anaab-Bisi, revealed that no GPHA staff has died from COVID-19.
He nonetheless urged the staff to continue to abide strictly by the preventive protocols in order to protect themselves and safeguard the port from the importation and spread of the virus.