THE move by some
aggrieved faceless workers of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), to
malign the Board Chairman of the GPHA, Mr Peter Mac-Manu with alleged claims of
conflict of interest and outright bias in the US$1.5 billion concession
agreement with Meridian Port Services Limited (MPSL) has hit a snag.

There were media reports on Thursday, May 30, 2019 under the headline ‘Mac-Manu Fingered in US $1.5 billion MPS Deal,’ aimed at making Mr Mac-Manu look like a criminal.

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But, painstaking
investigations conducted by Today, corroborated with information from the
corridors of power and the GHPA, have confirmed that Mr Mac-Manu has not
committed any crime.

Media Reports

In summary, Mr Mac-Manu
was described by the aggrieved workers of GPHA as a wolf in sheep’s clothing,
as he has been clandestinely lobbying the presidency for the deal to be left
unchanged, to the detriment of Ghanaian workers.

According to the
workers, the Board Chairman, by virtue of accepting to serve on the MPS board, has
compromised his position, therefore, cannot be serving the role of a peacemaker
in the impasse.

”The hands of Mac-Manu
are already soiled! He can never be the one to lead the process of appraising
the contract, hence the need for him to purge himself. Mr Mac-Manu can’t be the
supposed arbiter while serving on the two boards.

”So far Mr Mac-Manu
has been successful. He has found allies in government. Ministers of State are
quick to point out the ‘loopholes’ in the arguments of GPHA including figures
presented by the Authority.

”They do so with no alternative figures, simply dismissing the claims of the State Agency – GPHA–mandated to build and operate ports in Ghana. Today, the authors of the Inter-Ministerial Committee Report have all gone quite. Their silence is deafening. Posterity will hear their loud silence,” the irate workers furiously stated.

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But, documents intercepted
by Today Newspaper in connection with the implementation of the contractual
agreement between government and MPSL at Tema Port has exonerated Mr Mac-Manu
from any wrongdoing in the MPSL deal as claimed by workers and critics.

The one-page document
clarified that the US$ 1.5 billion contractual agreement of MPSL was legally
signed by the former Director-General of GPHA, Mr Richard A.Y. Anamoo with the
Chief Executive Officer of MPSL, Mr Mohammed Samara on June 12, 2015.

The document stated
that the signing of MPSL agreement was witnessed by the former Board Chairman
of GPHA, Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo and some other representatives of the MPSL.

Government of Ghana
through GHPA in 2015 negotiated the 35 years contract with MPS for the
development and operationalisation of a multipurpose container terminal at the
Tema Port, Today discovered.

The deal, Today learnt
was aimed at creating a deeper vessel capacity with an accompanying container
storage facility as part of efforts to position Ghana’s ports as a hub within
the West African sub-region.

Mac-Manu speaks

Speaking in an
interview with Today to set the records straight on the matter, Mr Mac- Manu
denied allegations that he attempted to lobby the presidency for the US$ 1.5
billion MPSL deal to be left unchanged.

He reiterated that
“the US$1.5 billion agreement was signed by the previous Board of Directors
of GPHA under the chairmanship of Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo and that “we came
to correct any anomaly on the MPSL agreement.

“So why the
allegations that Mac-Manu fingered in MPS deal? He rhetorically asked and
stated that such allegations against him were made by his critics and the
workers just to throw dust into the eyes of Ghanaians.

The senior politician
stressed that being a law abiding citizen, who contributed his quota to the
socio-economic development of Ghanaians at large, he would be the last person
to do something that could land him in financial malfeasance.

He also denied
compromising his position as the Board Chairman of GHPA by way of accepting to
serve on the board of MPSL, saying that such allegations were made by the
workers and his critics out of ignorance.

According to him, the
decision to add him to the Board of MPSL was legal based on the fact that the
GPHA currently has 30 percent shares in MPS and that GPHA is entitled to two
seats on the MPS board as stipulated in the MPS working constitution.

“So if the shareholders of GPHA have decided to put me on the Board of MPS, then where lies in the conflict of interest here?” Mr Mac-Manu further asked.

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He indicated that
“the GPHA workers have always had one representation on the GPHA Board as
per the GPHA Act, (PNDC Law 160,1986) and had been present in June 2015 when
the then Board Chairman of GPHA, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, who is now National
Chairman of National Democratic Congress (NDC), signed the concession
agreement. The workers didn’t utter a word then until 2019….one may ask why
their long silence in that regard?”

He explained that
“it has been done under the previous NDC government so it is not a new
policy being designed under the current New Patriotic Party
administration.”

According to him, the
workers and the critics were up to mischief with the intention to dent his
image and threatened to resist any attempt by them to further soil his
reputation.

In this regard, the
current GPHA Board Chairman called on Ghanaians to disregard the allegations
levelled against him by faceless workers of GPHA and treat them with the contempt
it deserves.

However, it would be
recalled that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo recently said he was awaiting
a legal opinion and a roadmap for renegotiating relevant portions of the
agreement after meeting representatives of the workers.

Source: Freeman Koryekpor Awlesu | Today
Newspaper



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