Ghana Ports Should Take Over Tema Shipyard

The Tema District Council of the Maritime and Dockworkers’ Union has appealed to the government to implement the recommendation of the Chris Ackumey Committee which recommended the takeover and management of the PSC Tema Shipyard by the Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority (GPHA).

The government in October 2009 set up a committee chaired by Mr Chris Ackumey, a lawyer, to investigate factors that militated against the smooth operations of the Shipyard and to make recommendations.

The Council also called for the immediate withdrawal of Tullow Oil Ghana employees from the PSC Tema Shipyard and to replace its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) as he was not serving the interest of the Shipyard.

Mr Ebenezer Taylor, Secretary of the Union, said these at a press conference on the state of the Shipyard in Accra on Thursday.

He said the government had refused to fully implement vital recommendations made by the Committee which could help to totally revamp the Shipyard and relive its mandate as envisioned by Dr Kwame Nkrumah who built it.

Mr Taylor said although GHPA acquired 60 percent government shares in the company, members wondered why government was working behind the scenes to hand over the Shipyard to Tullow Oil.

He said despite the payment of $6.36 million by GPHA to complete the buyback process and the expression of interest by GPHA to manage the Shipyard, no serious decision has been taken by government for the realisation of the full potential of the PSC Tema Shipyard since the company became fully Ghanaian owned over a year ago.

He said the PSC Tema Shipyard did not have a Board of Directors and that it was being managed by a 76-year-old CEO who was the Vice Chairman of the Chris Ackumey Committee.

Mr Taylor said the government’s decision to lease out the Shipyard to Tullow Ghana for two years to fabricate of parts to build a new FPSO would in no way solve the long term problems of the Shipyard.

“The potential of the PSC Tema Shipyard is beyond the fabrication of parts for the building of a new FPSO for Tullow Ghana. We find the negotiations to lease out the Shipyard to Tullow before takeover by GPHA as an unfortunate U-turn to address the management problem of the Shipyard”, he added.

He said with the right management under GPHA, it would be possible to develop the Shipyard into a first class modern ship building and repairs company in Africa to provide dry-dock and repairs for ships plying the western shorelines of Africa and urged Government to learn from the 15 years mismanagement of the Shipyard by the Penang Construction from Malaysia and not to repeat it.

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