A former Director-General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Richard Anamoo, has dismissed a report published by Africa Confidential which claimed that French billionaire, Vincent Bolloré has assumed control of the country’s ports.
The special report accused Bolloré of underhand dealings by using his firm, Bolloré Africa Logistics to win a contract to run a container terminal at the Tema Port through a 70 percent joint-owned venture between Ghana’s government and Meridian Ports Services (MPS).
It follows a secret Ghanaian ministerial report which cited a lack of transparency and ethical discipline in the deal, recommending that the contract must be immediately re-negotiated because it was “so tilted against Ghana’s interests”.
But reacting to the report, Mr. Anamoo told host, Bernard Avle that the report is not only full of false claims but also factual inaccuracies without any fresh emerging details.
“I thought there was something really confidential about the report. But, unfortunately, when I read it, it was basically the report of the ministerial committee. I didn’t see anything that was really confidential because all the information in that paper is already in the public domain. Making it look like the ports in West Africa are controlled by Bolloré is absolutely false. Apart from this, Ghana’s port is not only the Tema port. It’s both the Tema and Takoradi ports, and our vision is to grow these ports and Bolloré is not in the Takoradi port. So all those claims in the report are not supported by any evidence,” he noted.
Commenting on portions of the report that claimed Bolloré and his foreign partners persuaded the government to breach procurement laws and allowed the company’s monopoly on handling containers, putting thousands of jobs at risk and driving up prices, Mr. Anamoo said this assertion is completely untrue.
“I am not defending Bolloré, but these are factual matters because they elected to help West Africa and spend their resource on developing port infrastructure. So if we have been successful, I do not see that as something that is worrying. The report has not stated anywhere that there is an exclusion of laws that prevented any companies from bidding.”