Kofi Asamoah speaking at the May Day celebration.
Kofi Asamoah, Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), has advised government to rescind its decision to allow Lonrho Ports Ghana Limited to build Oil and Gas Freeport Service Terminal Complex at Atuabo in the Western Region.
According to him, government’s decision to offer the project to Lonrho constitutes a blatant violation of the Ghana Port and Harbours Authority (GPHA) Act 160 of 1986 (PNDC 160), which gives GHPA the sole authority to plan, build, manage, maintain, operate and control ports,’ he said.
Mr Asamoah, who was speaking at the May Day celebration in Accra last week, said placing a port under the control of a private foreign multinational company would undermine national sovereignty and security.
He said ‘the expansion of the Takoradi Port has a component of an oil and gas service terminal. Therefore, providing exclusivity for the Atuabo Freeport would have the potential of killing the Takoradi Port.’
This, Asamoah said, would not help Ghana to reap the benefits of the investment in the expansion of the Takoradi Port.
‘We wish to propose that the terminal for the oil and gas services should be part of Ghana’s local content in the oil and gas sector and should be placed under the state-owned GHPA.
‘This will be one way to strengthen GHPA to perform its functions as one of the most important state institutions in the country,’ he said.
Government, on August 16, 2011, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Lonrho Ports to carry out feasibility study for the construction of a freeport at Atuabo.
The company has acquired 514 hectares of land at Atuabo in the Ellembelle District for the construction and operation of an oil and gas port terminal.
The project, which is expected to be fully operational in 2016, involves the construction of temporary workshops, work areas and material staging areas.
It also involves the construction of a harbour protected by a rock breakwater to the west and a rock groyne to the east, a dredged approach channel, a turning circle, berth pockets and quays.
The project would deliver an airstrip and a helipad to facilitate aircraft and helicopter transportation, as well as other infrastructure like power generation, boreholes, accommodation, offices, a naval base, hydrocarbon fuel storage area and roads.
By Cephas Larbi
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