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General News of Friday, 16 April 2021


Bolloré, MPS saga: Bi-partisan parliamentary probe needed – Sam George

Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Sam George Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Sam George

Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Sam George, has said a bipartisan parliamentary body must be constituted to conduct a full-scale probe into the 2014 award of a port management contract to Meridian Ports Service (MPS).

The call comes weeks after an investigative report by Africa Confidential news portal revealed that French billionaire, Vincent Bolloré and his firm, had given Ghana a bad deal for the control of the Tema Port, Ghana's most lucrative port.

GhanaWeb monitored Sam George's submissions on Accra-based Citi TV‘s Breakfast Daily programme, where he advanced that the legislature had the necessary powers to carry out the kind of probe he was calling for.

Even though the deal was signed in 2014 during the presidency of John Dramani Mahama, the Ningo Prampram MP insists that the then government had awarded the contract with the view to make Tema Port competitive.

“There have been claims made by Africa Confidential that some instances border on very grave action by public officers. I want a full investigation into the matter.

"That deal was a critical milestone to reform and expand the capacity of the Tema Habour and make it competitive because it had begun lagging behind, even behind the Cotonou and Lomé ports. We needed to invest in it but the government didn’t have the resources. It was a $1.5 billion project.”

According to him, two key parliamentary committees were suited to probe the report together.

Parliament is versed with the powers to do so [investigate]. Our Trade and Industry or Transport Committee, our Finance Committee [can help probe the matter].”

According to Andrew Weir, the investigative journalist who published the report, despite damning findings by a ministerial committee under the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government over the contract, very little has been acted upon.

He said a leaked version of the contract between GPHA and MPS was what whipped his interest to probe the contents of the deal. He holds that the current government looks disinterested in implementing its own ministerial report because of a certain level of belated complicity.

Meanwhile, a former Head of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) William Anamoo, who was heading the authority when the deal was signed insists that Ghana got value for money and that the allegations raised in the report were false.

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