By ODIMMEGWA JOHNPETER/ABUJA
As ECOWAS Parliament, the lawmaking arm of ECOWAS Commission pushes for a more sustainable and suitable Public Private Partnership, PPP model that will accelerate infrastructural and social development in West African sub region, the need for the strict application of the local content laws by Member states has been advanced.
Speaking during an oversight visit to the $1.5BN Deep Sea PPP port project in Ghana, Members of Parliament from Ghana and Liberia Hon Kofi Clement Humado and Edwin Melvin Snowe Jr. said, for the ECOWAS sub region to get maximum benefits from the PPP concept, there is need for diligent application of local content laws, to ensure rapid transfer of technology and expertise to the indigenous people.
“It is up Ghana to have staff that will understudy, very quickly, within the 35 years the agreement is expected to last, on port management. Also very important is the need for ECOWAS Member counntries to implement their local content law laws, which specifies that certain category of workers should be indigenous people, and only few at the top will be foreigners.
“This is a laudable project, when completed it will be about four times bigger than the old sea port. We are impressed with the technology being used. The land reclamation strategy for the port is awesome.
“For some times now, the ECOWAS Commission has been thinking of the establishing a West African Maritime Transport Services but has not been successful, primary because we do not have a main port that can handle very huge containers, a very huge ship loads. Now, the establishment of this port is going to fulfill that dream, where many containers, especially, the huge ones, will be brought to Tema here and other vessels from West African coastline will come and pick them and move them to the other countries. Where there is space, they can also load Ghanaian items for trade along the west coast.
“Similarly, vessels coming to pick any container from here may also come with items from their various countries and discharge here. The containers will then go by road and rails to Burkina Faso, Mali and to Niger. I think this port will truly establish that kind of hub that we expect to service the other ports along the west coast,” the parliamentarians said.
ECOWAS Parliament Joint Committee on Trade, Finance, Customs and Free Movement of goods and persons is Ghana for a week Delocalised Meeting.