5 MPs Sue Gov’t; Defend Takoradi Port Expansion
Five Members of Parliament (MPs) from the Ashanti, Western, Central and Greater Accra Regions have sued government over an agreement it entered into with a British firm.
The five say aspects of the agreement which imposes restrictions on Takoradi Port as far as expansion of the Port is concerned, are unlawful and must be declared as such.
According to them, ‘On 17th July 2014, Parliament approved an agreement made between Ghana Government and a British company, Lonrho Ports, for the development of an oil and gas freeport in the Western Region.’
They insist that ‘Clause 7 of the said agreement bars Takoradi Port from further expanding its facilities for oil and gas until Lonrho has built its freeport, recovered all its cost, and made enough profit. The agreement actually bars all persons or companies from building any oil and gas port facilities in the entire Western Region until Lonrho has recovered its investment and made its profit.’
The five – Kwaku Kwarteng (Obuasi West), Kwabena Okyere Darko (Takoradi), Joseph Cudjoe (Effia), Mavis Hawa Koomson (Ewutu Senya) and Kofi Brako (Tema Central) – filed the case at the Sekondi High Court.
The case is expected to be heard on Thursday, August 28, 2014.
Led by their lawyer Mr Alexander Abban, the five MPs want the court to remove the restriction imposed on further expansion of the Takoradi Port by the agreement.
They argue the restriction offends section 5 of the Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority Act and are praying the court to remove the restriction.
The Act states among others; ‘The Authority shall plan, build, develop, manage, maintain, operate and control ports and in particular shall…maintain the port facilities and extend and enlarge the facilities as the Authority considers fit; [and] (c) regulate the use of a port and of the port facilities’.
The MPs point out that Parliament recently approved a loan of â‚¬197 million for the expansion of the oil and gas facilities at the Takoradi Port, and that the Port is in the process of securing another US$400 million to support the expansion programme.
‘Imposing this restriction on the Port would therefore make it impossible for it to repay these loans. This will collapse the Port and render its workers jobless,’ the plaintiffs argue.
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