President Akufo-Addo on Wednesday,15th November, 2023 commissioned 15 brand new state-of-the-art gantry cranes at the Tema Port.
This is to enhance operations and increase trade volumes at the country’s major port as part of the second phase of the port expansion project.
In his speech at a ceremony held at the Meridian Port Services Terminal 3, in Tema yesterday, the president said that with the support of development partners, Ghana is building first-rate trade structures that will go a long way to ensure trade growth in the country.
“Through our partnerships with the international friends of Ghana, our nation has established a world-class trade infrastructure. Not only does this infrastructure meet global standards but it also signals to investors, both domestic and foreign, that Ghana is open for business,” he said in praise of the feat.
For him, this is no mean achievement since it reflects the immense potential of Ghana as a nation.
He attributed the tripling of the capacity of the port to the substantial investments made in the port since 2017 together with the state-of-the-art equipment installed there.
That, according to him, “indicates that Ghana is poised for unprecedented trade growth with our strategic location situated in the center of the earth, giving us a distinct advantage and offering a welcome gateway for trade in our region and beyond.”
That, he said, was because “it is not prudent that our nation continues to be an import-driven and dependent economy when [it has] the capacity to be self-reliant and when we can create jobs for our vibrant youth population by supporting developments like this (the Tema Port Expansion Project).”
It is for this reason, he said “investing in critical port infrastructure provides the foundation for industries to create jobs and foster the export-driven economy we want to build,” and that “government remains committed to enhancing the business environment for investors.”
He, therefore, gave his word that “there is a government in place in Ghana that believes in the private sector and is working to enhance the prospects of a win-win environment for both the private sector and the country; an environment where companies do not just survive but actually thrive.”
The Minister for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, described the success story of Terminal 3 of the Tema Port as a testament to the fruitful partnership between the Government of Ghana and private investors.
This collaboration, Asiamah said, has yielded excellent results and has been instrumental in reshaping the landscape of Ghana’s maritime industry.
“One of the government’s key objectives was to establish a paperless port, and this vision has become a reality with the implementation of a fully digitalized business and commerce platform. I am pleased to acknowledge the pivotal role played by MPS in achieving this objective.
“The strategic investments in cutting-edge technology are globally
recognized, as it is seamlessly integrated with all port stakeholders, resulting in a paperless and highly efficient customs clearance and cargo delivery process,” Kwaku Ofori Asiamah said.
The benefits of these efforts, according to him, were evident in the increased revenue generated by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), with the bulk of the total customs collections throughout the country attributed to the Port of Tema.
“This does not only mean a significant boost to our national revenue but also underlines the efficiency and effectiveness of these revenue collection platforms,” he added.
On the issue of boosting connectivity at the port, the minister said,
“Terminal 3’s unparalleled efficiency levels have led to an influx of shipping lines choosing to connect the world through its state-of-the-art facilities.”
The Port of Tema, Asiamah said, is being transformed into a hub for trans-shipment traffic, bolstering its connectivity with global trade routes. “This achievement is not just a feather in our cap but a testament to the potential of the Ghanaian ports on the global stage,” Mr. Asiamah noted.
Safety and Security
On the subject of security, the Minister for Transport indicated that significant strides have been made in this regard by investing in state-of-the-art technology.
Aside from that, he said, “the implementation of an Access Control System and Drive-Through X-ray scanners, among many other systems, have made the entry and exit of persons and goods traceable and trackable.”
That, he said, “ensures the safety of our port and facilitates the smooth flow of goods and personnel.”
Chief Executive Officer of Meridian Port Services (MPS), Mohamed Samara, noted that the initiation of the second phase of the Tema Port expansion project is one that promises to usher in a new era of enhanced capacity at Tema Port.
“As we commission 15 additional gantry cranes and initiate civil works to add 270,000 square meters to the existing one million square meters, we are setting in motion a transformation that will fundamentally alter Ghana’s standing in the maritime industry of West Africa,” he noted with confidence.
When this colossal undertaking is complete, he assured, “Tema Port will stand shoulder to shoulder with the world’s most renowned ports and compete favorably with the largest ports on the African continent.”
“We hold the firm belief that post-upgrade, with our geographical advantage, Tema Port will assert itself as the maritime hub for trade along the West Coast of Africa. Our new port facility will possess the capability to efficiently handle some of the largest container vessels, ships carrying over 18,000 TEUs. The second phase of the Tema Port Expansion Project, which we are inaugurating today, is indeed monumental,” Mr. Samara said.
The construction will be carried out in phases and is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2025, with the first section slated for handover to the operations team by July 2024.
Source: Daily Guide