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General News of Monday, 1 April 2019

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Reverse appointment of director for ‘non-existing’ Keta Port - Minority to Akufo-Addo

The Minority in Parliament has criticised the government for purportedly appointing a private legal practitioner, Dr Alexander Y. Edusei Junior, as a director for a yet to be constructed Keta Port in the Volta Region.

It has, therefore, urged President Akufo-Addo to reverse the appointment of Mr Edusei since there was no justification for appointing a director to enjoy a monthly salary and allowances of about GH?150,000 for a non existing port.

Speaking on behalf of the Minority Caucus and the people of Keta at a press conference in Accra Monday, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Keta, Mr Richard Quashigah, said the Minority MPs had sighted a letter which indicated that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had through the Minister for Transport, Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, appointed a private legal practitioner Dr. Edusei as Director for Keta port.

"The appointment letter dated March 19, 2019, which we sighted, after our verification proved that indeed the President has made such an appointment whereas a sea port, as we speak does not exist in Keta.”

"Having a sea port at Keta, is a cherished dream of the people of Keta and its environs as it will automatically lead to a positive socio economic transformation of the area; restoring it to its past glories and above all arrest the ugly unemployment devil, rampaging and devouring what remains a pale shadow of the then proud, gorgeously rich Keta, the then commercial hub of Ghana", he said.

Mr Quashiga said the people of Keta and its environs would have hailed and applauded the President to the high heavens, were he to have built in the area a full functioning sea port before appointing a director.

"Sadly however, a sea port does not exist in Keta today for which a director is required. In fact it could be seen as an attempt to ridicule and mock the people of the area by the President, the current father of our homeland.

"This baffling situation can be likened to Ghana Education Service posting a head teacher to a community where indeed there is no school, no teachers and for that matter no students or pupils.

"I, Richard Quashigah, the Member of Parliament for the Keta constituency on behalf of the people of Keta Municipality in the name of God solemnly plead with President Akufo-Addo to reverse the horrendous decision of an appointment", he demanded of the President.

Ports directors

Mr Quashiga said there were currently four directors of ports for the two existing and functioning Tema and Takoradi Ports, and indicated that two of the directors were 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. Edusei bringing the number of Directors of ports to five when only two are needed. Perhaps this novelty is yet another 'presidential initiative'.

"This appointment is unnecessary and a rape on the resources of GPHA and for that matter the Ghanaian taxpayer. Maintaining a director of port a month is estimated to cost between hundred and twenty thousand to a hundred and fifty thousand Ghana cedis", he said.

Mr Quashiga said director of ports in Ghana was entitled to a fully furnished official residence, a four wheeled vehicle with a driver, free fuel, car maintenance allowance, a gardener, domestic servants, free medical care for the director, his wife and children below 21 years.

In addition, he said, the director as a person was insured and was entitled to free communication, entertainment allowance, professional allowance, salary ranging between twenty thousand and twenty five thousand cedis.

"The above listed, are the entitlement benefits for Dr. Edusei, the Director appointed by President Nana Akuffo Addo for the non-existent Keta port", he said.

The legislator indicated the Minority Members might file an urgent question for the Minister of Transport to appear before Parliament to answer questions relating to the purported appointment.



Executive Instrument

Mr Quashigah said President Akufo-Addo had earlier in the year signed an Executive Instrument, declaring the coastline of Keta as the Keta port.

He said news of that was hailed by the indigenes of Keta with a sigh of hope since that wouid mean steps towards future employment generation for the young people especially and with its attendant benefits.

Again, he said, he was aware that the Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority GPHA) had gone through the necessary legal processes to acquire the area for the port project which would comprise a commercial port area and leisure port area also known as marina.

However, he said, "as we speak, we do not know whether government has found a serious investor for the construction of the Keta Port apart from the interest shown by Diamond Cement Company, which dates back to 2014 in the building of a jetty to facilitate the transportation of clinker for the operations at Diamond Cement Company and also to transport salt which is also mined by one of its subsidiaries within the Keta enclave."

The legislator said the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the government and the investors (Diamond Cement) had suffered a jolt since the investor was uncomfortable with certain clauses inherent in the MoU.

"It is noteworthy that, a conditional approval given to Diamond Cement by the previous government was declared a nullity by Mr. Paul Ansah, currently one of the two Director Generals of the Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority in 2017 upon assumption of office by the NPP led government", he said.

Mr Quashiga said the NPP-led government then re-engaged the investors (Diamond Cement) resulting in the MOU which Diamond Cement hasd problems with, and indicated that nothing had since 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.

"There is no information whatsoever that apart from the owners of Diamond Cement, government has found other interested investors in the intended Keta Port project. So to appoint a director for a non-existing sea port at Keta with full status as directors of Tema and Takoradi Ports is not only preposterous, infuriating but attempt to cause willful financial loss to the state", he said.