U.S.$65 Million Container Terminal for Takoradi Port

The management of IBISTEK, a Ghanaian owned company, in collaboration with the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), is putting up a container terminal at an estimated cost of $65 million.

Code named ‘Takoradi Container Terminal (TACOTEL), all containers that arrive at the Takoradi Port from March 4th this year would be sent to the TACOTEL terminal. Currently, work is speedily on going at the project site, and is expected to be completed next month.

Though the GPHA has made no investment in the project, it would still receive 25% of total gross revenue when completed.

Mr Kwame Gyan, Counsel for IBISTEK, disclosed this at a stakeholders meeting, organised to brief them about the project.

The stakeholders, drawn from the police, fire service, Road Safety Commission, Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) amongst others, gathered to assess the impact of the project, and deliberate on how to reduce traffic congestion when the project eventually kick-starts.

In a presentation by the contractor, it became clear that the company had taken care of the impact the project would have on traffic congestion, particularly, when the containers are being transported to the project site at the old Prime Wood Ghana Limited.

Ibistek explained to the stakeholders that it had factored the traffic congestion in its report to the Urban Roads Department. Consequently, it was going to reconstruct into a dual carriage, the road from Paa Grant Roundabout leading to the project site in the first phase.

Continuing, Kwame Gyan who is also the company Secretary, told the stakeholders meeting that IBISTEK entered into concession agreement with GPHA to build the container terminal, in order to create space for the port expansion project to begin.

By carting all containers to the project site, there would be space for the second phase of the port expansion project to commence. Considering the huge investment in the project, which would directly and indirectly create employment, the Minister for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, last week had to cut short his visit to tour the site of the project to acquaint himself with progress of work.

For now, the first phase of the project, which is expected to be completed in March this year, would obviously contribute to job creation.

A total of 134 local carpenters have been engaged, with all civil works being done by indigenes from the Metropolis.

In the second phase of the project, which is expected to kick-start in June, a total of $350 million dollars would be committed, which would include the road development from Paa Grant Roundabout to New-Takoradi.

Page 7

Kofi Nti takes over GRA

By Bernice Bessey

The former head of the Tax Policy Unit of Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Emmanuel Kofi Nti, has taken up position as the new Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

With over thirty years of experience as a banker, economist, accountant and tax expert, Mr. Nti promised to work hard to turn-around revenue generation by the GRA.

As part of plans to achieve this ambitious purpose, he charged GRA staff of the various divisions, such as Customs, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Value Added Tax Service (VAT), to be ready for reshuffling.

He explained that though three different organisations made up the GRA, the workers should be prepared and ready to work at other divisions outside their comfort zones, adding: “We no longer hear of IRS, VAT & Customs, all we hear is GRA. We have to continue to be GRA, with the focus to make our country better. But, we also need to recognise that GRA staff in all divisions can be moved to other divisions.

“It is professional; we have to work professionally, and as such, you won’t be surprised that staff can be removed from Customs in IRS and from IRS to Customs. This maybe a surprise, but it has to be, because we have one GRA. So it meanswe need to develop professionally. We are interested in developing staff professionally.”

The new Commissioner-General also disclosed that staff who are ready to develop themselves professionally would be pampered, and cautioned underperforming workers that the data of an institution will show whether a staff is hardworking or not.

Mr. Nti was speaking at a farewell parade in honour of the former Commissioner-General, Mr. George Blankson, in Accra last week Friday.

The now Commissioner-General said the GRA, under his watch, will do more in revenue mobilisation, since revenue generation over the years has only doubled in cedi terms, but had remained the same, dollar wise.

Mr. George Blankson, however, said under his leadership, the GRA established an IT platform for domestic taxes, introduced new tax laws, and merged VAT, IRS and Customs into one-stop shop offices, segmented taxpayers into large, medium and small, alongside their respective offices.

He was certain that with the kind of expertise and experience Mr. Nti has, and measures that had been put in place, revenue will grow at an increasing rate, and will show a positive outlook in years to come.

Being the first to have occupied the position of Commissioner-General for seven years, he was honoured with gifts and citations by the workers from all the departments.

Mr. Edward Larbi Siaw, Special Advisor to the Minister of Finance, while delivering a speech on the minister’s behalf, commended the outgone Commissioner-General for doubling revenue three years after resuming office.

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Source: Ghanaian Chronicle

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