A deputy Transport Minister-designate has promised to liaise with the appropriate authorities to protect jobs reserved for Ghanaians in the maritime industry.
Nii Kwartei Titus Glover said the Ministry will not hesitate to ensure that jobs taken over from indigenes by foreigners are returned.
Speaking before Parliament’s Appointments Committee Thursday, the Tema East Member of Parliament (MP) said they will expand the maritime industry to create more jobs.
An estimated 4,000 Ghanaians were reported to have lost their jobs when former President John Kufuor’s government employed a foreign consortium, Meridian Port Services (MPS) to manage the Container Terminal at the Tema Port.
Hundreds of foreigners are currently working on Ghana’s coast whilst close to 1,000 trained local maritime workers desperately look for work.
Statistics show that one person out of 10 dockworkers loses his job daily. This situation has been described as worrying by experts in the industry.
Responding to a question by North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Deputy Transport Minister-designate said he has been concerned about what local maritime players go through.
Deputy Transport Minister-designate, Titus Glover
“Foreign big players are taking over the place,” he lamented, promising to turn the tide by insisting on the observance of the laws of the country.
Trading of foreign vessels on the nation’s waters flouts the Ghana Shipping Act (645).
The Act in section 1(2) states that, “subject to any treaty or agreement with a foreign Government, only Ghanaian ships may engage in local trade in Ghanaian waters.”
Mr Titus Glover whose constituency extends to the Tema Port said he will liaise with the appropriate regulators to enforce the law.
He also promised to work on the dry docks and shipyards in Tema if his nomination is approved by Parliament.
Road congestion in the country
The Deputy Minister-designate also registered his dissatisfaction with the nature of road congestion in the country, saying it is a function of non-cooperation on the part of motorists.
He advocated a campaign that will teach drivers how they can partner with the police to control the “unnecessary congestion on the road” to be undertaken.