The Board Chairman of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GHAPOHA) has described allegations levelled against him by Senior and Junior Staff Unions of the Authority as a fabrication.

Peter Mac Manu has been accused of what the Unions describe as ‘unruly activities’ which they say has the potential to ruin the operations of the Authority.

According to the Unions, he obtained a contract of over ¢4 million for the wiring of the newly constructed electrical and materials Block of GPHA and also facilitating a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project and had also asked the authority to pay $200,000 for 25 years.

They also alleged that the Chairman had attempted to sell a 24VDC Caterpillar engine starter sold at ¢9,000.00 from Mantrac to the authority at ¢30,000 from his supply company and he is also putting pressure on management to pay over ¢10 million to Britak Steel Company over a matter that was is in court.

All these allegations and many others, Mr Mac Manu denies.

He said he never attempted to sell a caterpillar engine starter and that his children have nothing to do with any of his businesses or contracts.

At a press conference on Friday, he said the allegations are false. He proceeded to provide more information on some of them and added that he was ready to provide documentary evidence to back them.

He said the allegations are “personal, direct and, I must admit, very painful. It is painful because not a single one of the allegations is true.

“Painful because it is pretty obvious to me that some persons have either a personal score to settle against me or are using me falsely to paint the government as corrupt or both,” he added.

Below is a copy of the full statement

Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press

Last week, some union staff members of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) held a press conference to make some serious allegations against me, Peter Mac Manu, the Board Chairman of the Authority. It was personal, direct and, I must admit, very painful. It is painful because not a single one of the allegations is true.

Painful because it is pretty obvious to me that some persons have either a personal score to settle against me or are using me falsely to paint the government as corrupt or both.

I have called you here today, ladies and gentlemen of the press, not to tell you my side of the story, but to set the record straight. I am here to tell you the truth, verifiable truths against the shocking litany of lies told against me, the GPHA and, by extension, the government.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, the first allegation I would like to address is the one by the union that my wife has taken over ticketing for staff travel and the authority is being priced at cut-throat prices.

Let me put it on record, my wife’s travel and tour company – Special T Travels, first secured a contract to issue tickets for GPHA staff Travel in 2005. In fact, the NDC, after winning power abrogated the contracted in 2009. The only reason Special T Travels lost that contract was because of me.

Special T Travels went back to GPHA in January 2017  to be re-engaged in January 2017, when I was not even a Board Chairman. They were contracted by GPHA months before I was sworn in as Board Chairman in March 2017.

I also want to put on record that, when I was sworn in, I made full disclosure to the Board about my wife’s company dealing with GHPA.

The second allegation is that I forced GPHA to be shortchanged in a concession by asking the management to accept a mere $200,000 for a 25-year concession for an LNG Terminal project.

The Tema LNG Consortium is the entity contracted to receive and regasify Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) from Rosneft to be supplied to GNPC to feed some 25% of Ghana’s electricity supply.

Ladies and gentlemen, if for nothing at all, my work as board chairman, as the records will show, has been one of striking good deals for GPHA, or making sure that the right thing is done for GPHA and country and not the other way round.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Tema LNG Terminal project is one of the critical pieces of infrastructure that is required to secure energy supply in the country.

The objective of the project is to address the projected deficit in gas supply in the country within the medium to long term in order to avoid any potential power crises in the country.

Attempts to negotiate with GPHA had dragged on for nearly a year until last month the Board, which I lead, stepped in to finalise the negotiations.

Our only crime, maybe, is that we directed Management to expedite negotiations in light of the critical importance of the infrastructure to the country’s energy security.

We did not influence or take part in the technical and commercial discussions. Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, due to our intervention, the GPHA management team progressed negotiations and concluded one of the best deals for the country.

Terms of the Agreement were finalized on May 16, 2018, before the press conference against me. The agreement was negotiated between a full GPHA team (over 12 people drawn from all relevant departments, including the Director of Tema Port, Edward Osei) and the Tema LNG Consortium team, including their international lawyers.

I would also like to state that:

1. GPHA does not make any capital contribution to the construction of the LNG terminal.

2. Tema LNG is financing the entire project all by itself at no cost to GPHA whatsoever.

3. The estimated value of the concession to GPHA is some $100m to GHPA over the lifetime of the contract! Not $200,000. [GPHA’s revenue over the lifetime of the contract will be generated from various fees, including, concession fees, royalties and port dues payable in accordance with the terms of the Concession Agreement.]

4. The concession is for 17 years and not 25, even though GNPC intends to use the facility for more than 25 years.

5. The entire marine infrastructure of the terminal is transferred to GPHA after 12 years of operations, which GPHA will own, and should be operational for at least another 13 years, generating further revenue for GPHA in the long term.

6. GPHA is not contributing a pesewa to this! The workers should compare this project to other facilities, like MPS, negotiated by the previous NDC regime.

7. The result of our directive to management to get on with the negotiations was that Tema LNG operators will make a $600,000 upfront non-refundable payment to GPHA, which brings value to GPHA from the outset of the project.

8. An estimated total of over $5.5 million annual payments will be made my the Tema LNG Consortium to GPHA. Yes! Not $200,000. This is the actual value of the deal negotiated by the GPHA management. To support this further, we have compared the value of the fees that the Tema LNG project will generate for GPHA against fees being paid for several LNG terminals across the world and the Tema LNG project will bring in significantly greater value than the other terminals we reviewed. This was the board’s mandate and the management team delivered.

9. This revenue is based on an estimated annual cargo of 1.7m tonnes of gas to be supplied to GNPC, which will in turn feed it to power stations to give Ghanaians cheaper and reliable power supply. I had a duty to get the job done and I am happy that we secured a very good deal for GPHA, the country and Ghanaians.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I guess that was not important to the workers to hold a press conference to thank the Board led by me, Peter Mac Manu, and the Management?

Were the aggrieved union members in Ghana and at the Ports when in June 2016, NDC sat there for government shares in Meridian Port Services Ltd (MPS) to be diluted from 30% to 15%? MPS controls about 70% of container business at the Tema harbour, killing many local jobs and businesses in the industry. So its ownership is important. One would have thought that the Board and Management and, of course, the Minister, would rather be hailed by the workers of GPHA.

The third allegation against me is that I have obtained a contract of over GHC4,000,000 for wiring of the newly constructed electrical/material block of GPHA.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is also absolutely false. In fact yesterday, the Procurement Manager wrote a Memo to the Director-General and copied the Board on this issue. According to the Memo, which I will give you copies, the Public Procurement Authority is yet to respond to an application by the GPHA to award the contract. To make such allegations, when the contract has not been awarded or even a company selected is simply insane.

The fourth allegation against me is that I have attempted to sell a 24Vdc Caterpillar engine starter which goes for GHS9,000 from Mantrac, to the Authority at GHS30,000 from his supply company.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is totally bogus. Management of Tema Port confirms that a 24Vdc Caterpillar engine starter was purchased on May 2, 2018, from Mantrac Ghana Ltd. for 9644.72 cedis.  Mantrac Ghana Ltd. is the local agent for Caterpillar. Since May 2018, no other engine starter has been purchased from any vendor. Attached is the procurement documents.

They also alleged that I am using my position to circumvent the Procurement Process in order to acquire for myself a tugboat (Tema Manhean) – spare parts have been procured to refurbish this tugboat recently.

Now let me set the records straight on this too. According to a response to a Memo by the Procurement Manager, no spare parts have been procured to refurbish this tugboat. Indeed refurbishment of the tugboat was not budgeted for in 2018. Cummings Ghana Ltd. is the local agent for Cummings Engines.

GPHA has not ordered anything from Cummings Ghana Limited. The engine on the craft had a technical problem. Cummings Ghana Ltd. was invited to inspect and submit a proposal, which they have not done.

Port Marine Engineer – Tema has sent a memo to Cummings Ghana Ltd for the cost of the engine overhaul, which they have still not responded or replied. I have no business with Cummings.

The engine has not been budgeted for in the 2018 budget. If anything, a request for the engine overhaul will be sent to Director of Tema Port for approval and a supplementary budget submitted to the Board. This has not been done. I will give the media a copy of the Memo.

They also alleged that, I am putting pressure on management to Britak Steel company Limited over a matter in court.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is also baseless and untrue. At the Board meeting of 12/5.2018 with reference B5/BD/V3/66 and subject, Extract from the Minutes of the 67th Board Meeting, signed by the Board secretary G.Ekow Mills, item 7 (Britak Steel co ltd. VS Cargo Systems Ltd. and GPHA: The Board considered the report of the Committee on Finance, Administration and Legal and acting on the opinion of the General Manager Legal, decided that GPHA should pursue the appeal process.

So where are the facts on the Union’s claim that the Board Chairman is putting pressure on Management to pay GHC10,000,000 to Britak Steel? Pure lies and fabrication.

Finally, the Union members also alleged that three (3) of my children are the biggest suppliers to the Authority.  Ladies and Gentlemen, none of my children are suppliers to the Authority and this can be verified by the Procurement Department and the Entity Tender Committee of GPHA.

I have four (4) children- two work at the Bank, one is a student and one owns a borehole drilling company. I challenge the Union to name any company that deals or has a contract with GPHA that belongs to any of my children. I challenge them on this.

Ladies and gentlemen, what I have stated here is the truth and the verifiable truth.

As to why some workers of GPHA will set out to tell those lies about me is a matter that I don’t know. I will call on the government for a full investigation to be done to have my name and the good name of GPHA set right.

 

 

 

Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com