President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday commissioned 15 gantry cranes valued at 50 million dollars for the operations of the Meridian Port Services (MPS) at Tema.
He also cut the sod for the second phase of the Tema Port expansion project, which would increase its capacity from the current one million square metres to 1,270,000 square metres.
At a short ceremony, President Akufo-Addo said that the sustained investment in a modernized, resilient logistics chain infrastructure was one of the surest ways of catapulting the country to become the world’s leading exporter of agricultural produce.
He observed that even though Ghana had vast agricultural potential due to good weather, abundant water supply, and fertile lands, the country had yet to establish itself as one of the main exporters of agricultural produce due to a lack of robust chain infrastructure.
“I firmly believe that Ghana has the potential to become the world’s leading exporter of agricultural produce, thanks in part to favourable weather conditions, ample water supply and fertile land.
“However, what we have lacked over the years is a modernised robust logistic chain infrastructure required to help realise this potential,” he stated.
The President stated that the MPS Terminal 3 project was a good example of a logistic platform that would enable Ghana realise its goal of becoming a top exporter of agricultural produce.
Investing in key port infrastructure, he emphasized, laid the groundwork for industry to create jobs and nurture the country’s export-driven economy.
President Akufo-Addo reiterated the government’s commitment to enhance the business environment for investors
“I want to assure you that there is a government in place in Ghana that believes in the primacy of the private sector and is working to enhance the prospects of a win-win environment for both the private sector and country.”
Ghana, he argued, should not be an import-dependent economy when it has the resources to be self-sufficient and create jobs.
Mr Mohammed Samara, Chief Executive Officer of MPS, stated that when the expansion works are done, the Tema Port will be able to compete with the world’s most prominent ports as well as 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.”
Mr Samara said the construction would be carried out in phases and is expected to be completed by the end of 2025, with the first section slated for handover to the operations team by July 2024.
He said the project, a joint venture between the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and Meridian Port Holdings, was one of the most significant and successful public private partnerships ever embarked on in the country’s history.
“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.
“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,’ he said.