The Ghana Ports and Harbours Workers Union for the Maritime & Dockers Union of the Trades Union Congress, has petitioned the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Doe Adjaho and other stakeholders to as a matter of national concern halt the intended construction of the Atuabo Freeport in the Western Region which is expected to be undertaken by a London-based company, Lonrho.
According to the petition which was intercepted by The New Crusading GUIDE dated 2nd April, 2014 and signed by its officers both in Tema and Takoradi, as workers in the country’s ports, they are “aware that permitting a private company to build, operate and manage a private port would create serious security problems for our country that would undermine our national sovereignty”.
“…we want to issue a stern warning to the government of Ghana and all those faceless people behind the illegality to restrain from proceeding with the DIABOLIC agenda”, stated the Union which was copied to both the Majority and Minority Leaders of Parliament, the Ministry of Transport and the Board Chairman of the Ghana Ports and Harbours. The rest were the Director General of the GPHA, and the Secretary General of the TUC.
Please see below for the full petition.
THE HONOURABLE SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT
PETITION OF THE LOCAL UNIONS OF THE GHANA PORTS AND HARBOURS AUTHORITY (GPHA) AGAINST ATUABO FREEPORT GHANA LIMITED
We the executives of the Local Unions of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) in Tema and Takoradi representing the employees of GPHA who are members of the Maritime and Dockworkers’ Union of the Trades Union Congress, Ghana wish to petition against the establishment of a new oil logistics port at Atuabo in the Ellembele District in the Western Region of Ghana.
As employees working in the country’s ports, we are aware that permitting a private company to build, operate and manage a private port would create serious security problems for our country that would undermine our national sovereignty.
The development of the Atuabo port by Lonrho Ports Ghana Limited violates the (PNDC Act 160 of 1986) which gives GPHA the sole right to plan, build, develop. Manage, maintain, operate and control ports.
Contrary to the dictates of PNDC Act 160, the draft agreement authorizes the Atuabo port to be a sole operator and manager of a one stop oil logistics port to service offshore rigs and vessels in the booming oil industry in the sub- region for twenty five (25) years which is to be renewed automatically for another twenty five (25) years.
We are of the opinion that providing exclusive right to Lonrho Ghana Ports to engage in the illegal construction of a port in Ghana and operate it for 25years with an automatic renewal for another 25years in addition to a tax exemption for these long period amounts to a sell out.
We are worried that, granting of the right to Lonrho Port to develop the Atuabo Port would undermine the existence of GPHA and undermine its functions.
The draft agreement of the Atuabo port further undermines our national constitution because there are provisions in the draft agreement which state that the government of Ghana should ensure that no relevant authority shall exercise discretion granted to it under the constitution of Ghana and applicable laws which would discriminate against the Atuabo port project. The Atuabo port could serve as a conduit for increased illegal trade in arms and drugs. The framers of the PNDC Act 160 of 1986 considered the security of the nation and the benefits to the nation in empowering GPHA to have the sole responsibility of developing and managing ports.
The Company seems not to have the needed investment capital to prosecute the project but rather seeks the support from the government of Ghana to arrange financing for the project.
We are opposed to government seeking financial support for a private foreign company to undertake an illegal activity in Ghana.
Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) has already created a platform to take care of the oil industry as part of her Takoradi Port expansion which the president of the republic of Ghana officially cut the sod recently.
We are calling on the government to abrogate any agreement relating to the development of the Atuabo Freeport and call on funding agencies not to provide the funds to Lonrho to undertake the project because it violates the laws of Ghana.
To the Unions, the port belongs to the living, the dead and the unborn generation which as leaders today we must protect at the peril of our lives that is why we have to prevent the ILLEGALITY.
In the light of the above we want to issue a stern warning to the government of Ghana and all those faceless people behind the illegality to restrain from proceeding with the DIABOLIC agenda.
For and behalf of GPHA Local Union.
The Majority Leader of Parliament
The Minority Leader of Parliament
Ministry of Transport
The Board Chairman
The Director General
The Secretary General
The General Secretary
MDU (hall of TUC)
Source: The New Crusading Guide
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