The acting Director General of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Michael Luguje has revealed that Cargo traffic through the Ports of Ghana grew by 20% in 2018 compared to same period in 2017.“We have also seen our Cargo Traffic grow and the statistics indicate that we have a growth of at least 20% above that of 2017 especially in Cargo Traffic,” he stated. Addressing Staff of GPHA at a thanksgiving service to appreciate the goodness of God for successes chalked by the Authority in the year 2018, the acting GPHA Boss recounted some successes chalked by the authority in 2018. He said a lot of progress have been achieved in terms of infrastructure development in both Ports of Tema and Takoradi.
“We are also making quite a lot of progress in the area of our infrastructural development projects in Tema and Takoradi. A lot of progress is being made, 2019 is going to see at least some of the projects being commissioned for operations both in Tema and Takoradi Ports, he said” Michael Luguje added that GPHA will continue to instil confidence in the business community for more progress to be achieved in 2019.“Whilst we are preparing to open up our infrastructure to accommodate more business, it instils a lot of confidence in the business community to sign on Ghana as their destination for import and export. So we trust that next year by this time, we will be meeting with better results to present,” he added.
Earlier, the Director of Tema Port, Edward Kofi Osei in his welcome address, emphasized the need for all staff of the Authority to show gratitude to God for his faithfulness. “We as GPHA management, we don’t want to be the nine lepers, we want to be that one that came to say thank you. Indeed, it is great to be alive this day and for us to see the end of one year and the beginning of another year. Let us sing and praise the Lord for he has really done wonders for us,” he said. The Chief Imam of Tema Port, Sheikh Laberan Salifu Barry in his message highlighted the need for forgiveness as the vehicle of progress and growth. “Before a good or reputable organisation can achieve its aims and objectives, there must be the concept of forgiveness. The concept of forgiveness in very fundamental and critical to our existence,” he said. In her sermon grounded on Psalm 118:7, Rev. Dr. Mary Ghansah stated that it was necessary for the Lord to be on side of GPHA in order for the Authority to achieve great exploits.The thanksgiving service brought together staff of the Port Authority as well as representatives from several other stakeholder organisations who operate in the port and maritime industry.Staff sung and danced to show appreciation to God for how far he has brought the Port Industry in general and the Authority in particular.
Management of the Tema Fishing Harbour has held its last quarter stakeholder meeting for 2018 to look at progress made in the year and challenges that can be resolved for a better future.The 4th quarter meeting was used to discuss progress made during the year 2018 at the fishing harbour especially with regards to sanitation and infrastructure that need to be built or improved upon.The General Manager of the Tema Fishing Harbour said from March, 2019, all payments at the fishing harbour will be automated as part of a strategic agenda to streamline their operations. “We are saying that by March next year, it will be compulsory for a lot of payments or almost all the payments to be made by electronic means or the processes will be automated,” the General Manager of Tema Fishing Harbour, Kumi Adjei-Sam said.
Meanwhile, management of the Port of Takoradi led by the Director of Takoradi Port, Captain Ebenezer Afadzi has also engaged journalists in the oil city of Takoradi.The engagement was to strengthen the ties between journalists in the oil city and the Port of Takoradi.He said the port of Takoradi performed significantly better in 2018 than it did in 2017“In 2017, cargo throughput as if October was 6.6 Million tonnes and as at October this year, we have done 7.26 million tonnes. In 2018, we have done a lot, and we have been able to add 200 meters to the quay wall of the new bulk jetty, making the current total of the new bulk jetty quay wall to 600metres.
In a related development, the acting Director of Tema Port Edward Kofi Osei with the support of the acting Director General of GPHA have also engaged reporters of the Tema Region of the various media networks in Ghana to brief them on the state of Ghana’s ports and their future.The Director of Tema Port, Edward Kofi Osei said the Port of Tema recorded an increase in cargo traffic as well as an improvement in transit trade.“Cargo traffic has gone up to 30 million tonnes from 11million tonnes last year. Our transit cargo which means that the cargo that we send to transit countries such as Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso has gone up from 1 million tonnes last year to 1.2 Million tonnes.”He said the Tema Port is committed to attaining its vision of becoming the container hub of West Africa.
“We are looking forward to a gigantic project called MPS which all of you have heard of, that we hope would position us to become the hub of West Africa,” he added.The Acting Director General, Michael Luguje mentioned that GPHA entered into a strong partnership with IBISTEK under a concession agreement signed between the two in 2017 to develop a multipurpose port terminal facility. He said physical construction of such projects commences in January 2019.“Takoradi is seeing massive infrastructure development with private sector participation with agencies like IbisTek. In Tema, we are looking forward to MPS three container terminals which is going to give our Port of Tema, one of the state of the art container terminals in modern time,” the Acting DG, Michael Luguje told the assembly of journalists.He also responded to a number of concerns raised by the reporters.
Ports all over the world are considered to be a major national asset sometimes rated beyond mineral resources. Several countries have leveraged their port facilities to leap from developing to develop and developed ones have also solidified their positions with their port facilities.In view of this, the managers of Ghana’s ports and Harbours always make an effort to interact with important stakeholders in the governance of the nation to share its vision and solicit support in the management of the nation’s ports to aid Ghana’s development.This year the Director General and senior managers of the Port met with media managers, editors and senior journalists of repute to explain their vision for the Port industry and exchange ideas on issues pertaining to the Port industry in Ghana.Esther Gyebi-Donkor, General Manager, Marketing and Corporate Affairs of GPHA said “you are our strategic partners and we appreciate that. Throughout the year we have worked with you and we know that you are key stakeholders in whatever we do.”
This year’s interaction brought together notable media managers like the MD of Atinka Media Group, Albert Dwumfour, General Manager of Chronicle, Ebo Quansah, General Manager of Metro TV, William Asare. Editors and Directors of News including Ransford Tetteh of the Daily Graphic, David Agbenu of the Ghanaian Times, Ebenezer Ampaaben of GTV, Wofa KK or Kwabena Kwakye of Oman FM, Nana Aba Anamoah of GHONE, Matilda Hanes of TV3, Kwame Nkrumah Tikesie of Okay FM, Nana Yaa Konadu and, Yaw Obeng Manu of Peace FM, Peter Serenye of Metro TV, Alhaji Gomda and Fortune Alimi of Daily Guide, Richard Dela Sky of CITI FM, Larry Dogbe, Bismark Brown, Gordon Asare Bediako, among others.Other Senior Journalists who interacted with the Director General included Paul Adom Okyere, Samson Lardi Ayinene, Randy Abbey, Kwame Sefa Kayi, Ken Korankyi, Larry Dogbe, Andy Kankam, among others. Also present was the reigning Journalist of the year Bernard Avle of CITI FM and the President of the Ghana Journalists Association, Dr. Affail Monnie.The Acting Director General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours' Authority, Michael Luguje together with management of GPHA thanked the top echelon of journalists for their support for the year 2018 and also spelt out his vision for the authority in the coming year 2019.Michael A. Luguje revealed that the two Ports of Ghana performed significantly better between January and October 2018 compared to the same period in 2017.“For us as a Port Authority, we are excited that the figures show that we are growing and the Port Authority mirrors the national economy, so if you see cargo volume growing through the port, there is a direct correlation that the national economy too is generating some results,” he said. Michael Luguje said great strides have been made in making Ghana’s Ports the leading Trade and Logistics Hub within the West African Sub-region.“This is a project that is going to be able to receive the biggest container ships. Today our existing facility take maximum of container ship that carries about 4500 containers- the current terminal. And with the new project when competed can take up to 8,000 to 10,000 containers,” he added. The GPHA Boss also highlighted progress on some impending projects of the Ports.“We have a new baby- the Keta port. For us as a Port Authority we very excited to be able to count many more ports under our jurisdiction but the Keta project is more exciting because we are looking forward to it. You know a lot of economies grow around ports. The ports attract a lot of business and we are looking forward for this port in creating a whole economy around it in the Volta area, just as the other ports have done.” The Senior Journalists also probed on some of the current issues in the port and maritime industry“Emmanuel Akli, an editor for Chronicle newspaper asked, “Why is Takoradi Port not doing well when it comes to transit cargo.”The DG, Michael Luguje responded that “the trade attractiveness of the region counts and that is why we are happy that oil has been discovered in the Western Region, so now Takoradi has become more attractive and over the years the volumes are increasing now at Takoradi port.” Charles Takyi-Boadu, Journalist from Daily Guide asked, “what accounts for the 10% short fall in the implementation of the paperless process at the harbour?” The DG responded that “the Port Authority runs its system to a point which ends where our responsibility ends, Customs also runs to another point. Now you need to integrate the two. That integrating face, we are not experts and some people have to help us do that and those are the missing links are what makes us rate the paperless at 90%.” “Kennedy Monarh, an Editor for Maritime and Port Digest asked, “With regards to Tema Shipyard, are there any specifics as to the stage reached in terms of partnering a private investor?”The DG responded, “The Ministry of transport has set quite a very realistic target and I think they have gone through a lot, such as the biding process, and they are evaluating about four or five companies now to be able to pick the best.”Ebo Quansah, General Manager for Chronicle enquired, “Sometime ago we heard that some private organisations were constructing a port somewhere in the Volta region at the blind side of the government of Ghana and GPHA. I want to know whether that is the port that is going to be the Keta Port?”The DG answered, “where they were constructing the illegal port is not the current location of the Keta Port. But that illegal project itself has been stopped.”
The President of the Ghana Journalists Association expressed excitement about the annual ritual initiated by GPHA to solicit opinion of journalists in governing Port business and building the needed relationship for national development.“We have listened, we have been educated beyond measure about the strides GPHA is making. The point has highly been articulated that GPHA is a huge strategic asset providing jobs and creating wealth. It is therefore of strategic necessity for GPHA and the media to build stronger bridges of collaboration to ensure the nation’s economic growth,” he said.A minute silence was observed for departed souls of media personalities who have consistently been part of the previous annual interactions like Alhaji Bature Iddrisu and Kwadwo Asare Baffour Acheampong popularly known as Kaba.