The Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen believes Ghana stands to benefit from the global shift brought on by COVID-19 as the first phase of the Tema Port Expansion Project is completed.
He was speaking at a ceremony held at the Meridian Port Services Terminal 3 facility at Tema Port on the 3rd of June, 2020 to mark the completion of the works for the first phase of the project.
He described the facility as vital to Ghana’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery.
“Port infrastructure or port facilities are not an end in themselves, they are meant to be a means of facilitating trade. I believe that what we are seeing here today and with the level of efficiency of the operations of MPS so far, within a very short period of time, I am very convinced that we would optimize the facilitation of trade in Ghana and in West Africa,” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer of MPS, Mr. Mohamed Samara, in a welcome address, thanked all who contributed to the successful completion of the works while ensuring that the highest safety, environmental and social sustainability protocols were observed.
He highlighted the facilities constructed on the paved land and what it represents.
“In effect, the first phase has instantly increased the container handling capacity of Tema Port from 1 Million to 2.5 Million TEUS. In addition, over the last 10 months of operations, we have had the opportunities to stress-test and stabilise our fully integrated systems and processes. The seamless synchronization of the systems and processes coupled with the state-of-art infrastructure can only guarantee our success in delivering the highest service levels to the Maritime Industry,” he said.
“MPS will continue to improve the socio-economic fortunes of our communities and nation at large, create a safe and secure environment for the port community as we engage in investments that will grow our external connectivity to newer markets in the global transport sphere.” The CEO said in affirmation of MPS commitment to the development of Ghana,” he added.
Deputy Minister of Transport Daniel Titus-Glover, who represented the Minister of Transport, said, while we commemorate this landmark event in the building of the physical infrastructure, we should not lose focus that investment in technology and the constant maintenance and upgrade of our Technology Systems will guarantee the future of this port facility.
“I am pleased to learn that a host of Ghanaian workforce were employed to complete these works, each gained some knowledge, and many have since gone on to work on other construction projects being undertaken nationwide. The resource base of Ghana including civil, electrical, maritime, architectural, geotechnical have had their respective skills improved to match international standards,” he said.
“This is the reason why I have been very impressed with MPS’ investment in systems like the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Systems, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Systems, Scanners, Terminal Operating Systems (Navis 4), Truck Appointment Systems (TAS) and the Differential Global Positioning Systems (DGPS). The Port of Tema should continue to position itself as an efficient port facility to advance the ease of doing business in Ghana,” he added
The Director General of GPHA also noted that the Authority will make major investments to realize the full potential of Terminal 3 and continue to keep the Port active in spite of the ongoing worldwide economic difficulties.
“Following the construction of the harbour basin capable of accommodating more berths, we will begin to look at further developments to bring to a full manifestation our vision for the Tema Port.
We also look forward to improvements in our road and rail sector to complement this infrastructure to facilitate the transport of raw materials to and from the hinterlands. This is about creating a seamless nexus for our biggest economic back bone, the Agriculture sector and ensuring a major boost for the exportation of produce.”
So I am hoping that I can work with my colleagues in the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Finance to make Tema and in particular this facility the next transhipment hub for Africa and so we are going to put in place the necessary legislation and policy framework for this to happen and happen quickly. It is only when this occurs that the whole concept for Ghana being the commercial hub of Africa will be realized.”
The Board Chairman of MPS, Dr Edmund Osei Tutu Prempeh in his statement said: “This asset’s lifespan according to the design criteria, is a Century (100 years) which is long after we are all gone from mother earth.