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General News of Monday, 1 April 2019

Source: 3 News

Minority wants ‘controversial’ appointment for non-existing Keta Port reversed

The minority in parliament have questioned the controversial appointment of a private legal practitioner, Dr Alexander Y. Adusei Jr, as Director for a non-existent Keta Port in the Volta Region.

According to the minority, the action taken by President Nana Akufo-Addo “is not only preposterous [and] infuriating, but attempts to cause wilful financial loss to the state”.

Describing the appointment as unnecessary, the minority MPs on Monday asked Nana Akufo-Addo to reverse same.

Transport Minister Kwaku Ofori Asiama in a letter dated March 19, 2019 announced the President has appointed Dr Alexander Y. Adusei Jr as the Director for Keta Port and asked the Chairman of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) to “take the necessary action to give effect” to the appointment.

News of the appointment which was broke by last Friday triggered questions over the legitimacy of such appointment when there is currently no Keta Port.

The Akufo-Addo government has since assuming office taken steps to bring to fruition the Keta Port project but actual work is yet to commence.

Addressing a news conference on the matter Monday, the minority expressed shock at the appointment, indicating it was done to ridicule and mock the people in the Keta area who have been longing for the project to transform their local economy and create employment.

MP for Keta, Richard Quashigah, said their checks have revealed that after the President with an Executive Instrument declared the Keta coastline as a sea port, the GPHA has since taken the necessary legal processes to acquire the coastline for the project.

However, there is no functioning sea port in Keta, stating “sadly, a sea port does not exist in Keta today for which a director is required”.

He said the currently confusion created by the appointment of Dr Adusei Jr by the president could best be likened to Ghana Education Service posting a head teacher to a community where there is no school, no teachers and for that matter no students or people.

The MP said is currently even not aware whether government has found a serious investor for the construction of the Keta Port apart from the interest shown by Diamond Cement Company 2014 to build a jetty to facilitate the transportation of clinker and also to transport salt by one of its subsidiaries within the Keta enclave.

“As far as we know, the memorandum of understanding between the government and the investors has suffered a jolt since the investor is uncomfortable with certain clauses in the MoU,” Mr Quashigah claimed.

“Nothing has taken place except a visit to the site of the intended project at Kedzi in Keta by the Board of Directors led by the Board Chairman Mr Peter Mac Manu in August 2018.

“So to appoint a director for non-existing sea port at Keta with full status as director of Tema and Takoradi is not only preposterous, infuriating but attempts to cause wilful financial loss to the state,” Mr Quashigah argued.

He claimed there are currently two directors each for the Tema and Takoradi ports, and for that matter “two of these directors are redundant”

“If for nothing at all, why wouldn’t the President appoint one of the redundant directors as director for the imaginary Keta port rather than appointing Dr Adusei Jr bringing the number of directors of ports to five when only two are needed,” he added

In his view, “this appointment is unnecessary and a rape on the resources of GPHA and for that matter the Ghanaian taxpayer.

He grounded his argument on the fact that it cost an estimated 150,000 cedis to maintaining a director of port in a month considering the benefits that come with the position.

“I…solemnly plead with President Akufo-Addo to reverse the horrendous decision of an appointment,” Mr Quashigah appealed, noting what the people in his constituency want is a functional port which they have desired for over the years.