In what can best be described as robbing Peter to pay Paul, the hands of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) have been twisted to cough a colossal amount of US$33.3 million into Ashanti Ports Services Ltd (APSL), the concessionaire of the Boankra Integrated Logistics Terminal Project.
The amount which has already been transferred to the private entity, represents part payment for the authority’s approximately 39percent compulsorily acquired shares valued in the region of US$49 million.
The transfer of the US$33.3 million by the authority, was as a result of a recent cabinet/ministerial directive.
The payment, has set minds confused as to what at all necessitates the misplaced priority forced on the GPHA and triggered several questions such as;
Who is this private concessionaire to warrant the cabinet and ministerial directive for the authority to divert part of its equity in the Meridian Ports Services (MPS) to prop up the concessionaire?
Who are the shareholders of Ashanti Ports Services Ltd (APSL) and the ports Authority’s direct benefits?
The survival of the Boankra Inland Port, depends on the existence of the Eastern rail line from Tema to Kumasi which dream is nowhere.
It is public knowledge that workers of the Ghana Railway Authority, a few days ago, raised alarm over what they termed as dying authority due to the neglect.
At worst, it is going to be that cargoes from the Tema Port would be transported by road to the concessionaire with little attention to what occurs to the eastern rail line.
Indeed, many for this and other reasons, feel that the ports authority have flushed the whooping sum in the drain because the financial strength of the unknown shareholders of Ashanti Ports Services Ltd (APSL), is invisible.
Some have also suggested that the Akufo-Addo government, has reduced GPHA to a guinea pig for the intended inland port.
More to come!