MPs take on government over Atuabo Port


A Sekondi High Court?in the Western Region will?on Friday deliver judgement?in the case in which?five Members of Parliament?(MPs) are praying?the court to remove a?restriction the government?had imposed on further?expansion of oil and gas?facilities at the Takoradi?Port.

wpid-atuabo-free-port.jpgThe five are Kwaku?Kwarteng, Obuasi West;?Kwabena Okyere Darko,?Takoradi; Joseph Cudjoe,?Effia; Mavis Hawa Koomson,?Ewutu Senya and?Kofi Brako, Tema Central.

Parliament had on July?17 this year, approved an?agreement between the?Government and Lonrho?Ports ? a British company -?for the development of an?Oil and Gas Freeport at?Atuabo in the region.?Clause 7 of the said?agreement bars Takoradi?Port from further expanding?its facilities for oil and?gas until Lonrho had built?its freeport, recovered all?its costs and made enough?profit.

The agreement further?bars all persons or companies?from building any oil?and gas port facilities in?the entire region until?Lonrho had recovered its?investment and made its?profit.

However, the five MPs?insist the restriction?imposed on a national?facility like the Takoradi?port was unlawful, arguing?in their affidavit that?the restriction offends Section?5 of the Ghana Ports?& Harbours Authority Act?and consequently prayed?the court to remove the?restriction.

The case, which has?generated so much interest?in the region and?beyond, is expected to?bring to court high profile?interested parties, including?Armah-Kofi Buah,?Minister for Energy and?Petroleum and MP for?Elembelle, in whose constituency?the Atuabo?Freeport is to be located as?well as the chiefs of the
Takoradi Traditional Area.

Earlier in a statement,?Alexander Abban, counsel?for the MPs, said he was?optimistic the restriction?imposed on the Takoradi?Port would be removed?on Friday.

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