Allegations Against Me Painful, False – Mac Manu

The embattled Board Chairman of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GHAPOHA) Peter Mac Manu has reiterated the allegations of impropriety levelled against him by aggrieved staff of the Authority are false.

Workers of GHAPOHA in the Western region on Thursday, May 24, 2018, at a press conference, accused Peter Mac Manu of conflict of interest by dishing contracts to his wife and children.

Addressing the press conference, the Chairman of the Senior Staff Association, Joseph Aseeph said Mr. Mac Manu who is a former National Chairman of the ruling government took over ticketing for staff travels, adding the Authority “is being priced at cut-throat prices.”

“We are paying two and three times more than other competitors are offering for ticketing,” he alleged.

But speaking at a press conference Tuesday, Mr. Mac Manu described the allegations as “personal”.

“It was personal, direct and, I must admit, very painful. It is painful because not a single one of the allegation 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 bemoaned in a seven-page response.

Itemizing the allegations to respond to them one after the other, the former NPP National Chairman said “I am here to tell you the truth, verifiable truths against the shocking litany of lies told against me, the Ghana Ports and Habours Authority and, by extension, the government.”

Addressing the allegation that his wife has taken over ticketing for staff travel and the authority was being priced at cut-throat prices, he said his wife’s travel and tour company – Special T Travels, first secured a contract to issue tickets for GPHA staff Travel in 2005.

According to him, the NDC, after winning power abrogated the contract in 2009 because of him and Special T Travels went back to GPHA in March 2017 to be re-engaged, “when I was not even a Board Chairman.”

“They were contracted by GPHA months before I was sworn in as Board Chairman in July 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 GPHA,” he stressed.

On the second allegations that he forced GPHA to be short-changed in a concession by asking the management to accept a mere $200,000 for a 25-year concession for an LNG Terminal project Mr. Mac Manu argued “if for nothing at all, my work as board chairman, as the records will show, is making sure that the right thing is done for GPHA and country and not the other way round.”

It is very important, he said to note that GPHA does not make any capital contribution to the construction of the terminal and that Tema LNG is financing the entire project all by itself.

Rather, he stressed after 12 years of operations, the entire marine infrastructure – comprising a newly constructed breakwater, mooring infrastructure, dredged facilities and all associated developments – become the property of the Authority.

In addition, he stated “the Consortium is funding the refurbishment of an existing breakwater of which the Authority is the ultimate beneficiary and the total investment in the marine works is estimated around $200 million.”

He also debunked the allegations of obtaining a contract of over GH¢4,000,000 for wiring of the newly constructed electrical/material block of GPHA is “simply insane.”

“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,” he explained.

Again, he dismissed as totally bogus allegations that he attempted to sell a 24Vdc Catepillar engine starter which goes for GH¢9,000 from Mantrac, to the Authority at GH¢30,000 from his supply company.

Below is the full statement

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 allegation 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 records straight.

I am here to tell you the truth, verifiable truths against the shocking litany of lies told against me, the Ghana Ports and Habours Authority 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 contract in 2009. The only reason Special T Travels lost that contract was because of me.

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

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

Tema LNG Consortium is the entity contracted to receive and regasify Liquefied 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, is making sure that the right thing is done for GPHA and country and not the other way round.

Ladies and Gentlemen, GPHA – Tema LNG Concession Agreement

Electricity supply remains the lifeblood of our economy. Statistics confirm that every bout of power crises that has confronted this economy has left it in a tailspin. Recognizing the need to bolster and consolidate the country’s energy security, the Government, through GNPC has signed a gas sales agreement with a Russian entity to supply 1.7 million metric tonnes of gas annually. In order to deliver the gas to GNPC, it is required to construct an LNG import and regasification terminal in the Tema port.

Principally, the project will make possible the extension of gas supply to the Tema power generation and industrial enclave whilst supplementing domestic gas supply. This will offset the potential fuel supply shortfall identified in the Energy Commission’s demand-supply projections and avert any power supply deficits thereto, within the medium to long term. It is worth emphasizing that the Tema LNG Terminal project is one of the critical pieces of infrastructure to help address energy security challenges in the country.

Consequently, the Tema LNG Consortium approached the Authority for the procurement of a Port Concession Agreement that will enable the construction and operation of the terminal within a currently undeveloped portion of the port. Indeed, attempts to negotiate with GPHA had dragged for nearly a year; this Board only directed Management to expedite negotiations in light of the critical nature of the infrastructure to the country’s energy security.

The main terms of the agreement were finalized on May 16, 2018. The agreement was negotiated between a full GPHA team of over 12 people drawn from all relevant departments and the Tema LNG Consortium

It is very important to note that GPHA does not make any capital contribution to the construction of the terminal. Tema LNG is financing the entire project all by itself. Rather, after 12 years of operations, the entire marine infrastructure – comprising a newly constructed breakwater, mooring infrastructure, dredged facilities and all associated developments – become the property of the Authority. In addition, the Consortium is funding the refurbishment of an existing breakwater of which the Authority is the ultimate beneficiary. The total investment in the marine works is estimated around $200 million.

Far from the $200,000 figure quoted in the Unions’ press paper, the Authority will receive in excess of $5.5 million annually in the form of royalties and other fees from the Consortium.

Highlights of the Commercials in the Draft Agreement as of May 16 are as follows:

The following are payable by the Consortium to the Authority:

  • Upfront non-refundable fee of $600,000
  • Tonnage based royalty of $2 per tonne of cargo. Estimated yearly cargo is 1.7 million tonnes. Hence, GPHA receives $3.4 million annually
  • Port dues of $0.6 per tonne, amounting to $1.02 million annually
  • All published marine services and vessel handling fees, grossing up to about $1 million annually
  • Published Environmental fees
  • All ancillary port charges (emergency stand by, fire monitoring, utility service, garbage collection, security, etc) as per published rates.
  • 10% of published berth occupancy charges translating to over $50,000 per annum. GPHA proposed 10% because it is not making any capital contribution to the construction of the berth. It’s being financed 100% by Tema LNG
  • Pipeline corridor usage fee of $1 per linear meter, amounting to an estimated $20,000 per year
  • GPHA will charge Terminal Area fees when the asset is transferred to them after 12 years
  • Term of the Agreement is 17 Years, even though GNPC needs the facility for the entire economic life of the regasification facility – a minimum of 25 years

Indeed, we must rather commend the GPHA team that handled these negotiations. It delivers significant value to the Authority, compared to previous concession agreements that we have entered into.

Attempts to negotiate with GPHA had dragged for nearly a year until last month, the Board which I lead stepped in. Our only crime, maybe, is that we directed Management to expedite negotiations in light of the critical nature 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 went on with it 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 Ghana Ports & Harbour Authority (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.
  3. The estimated value of the concession to GPHA is some $100m to GHPA over the life time of the contract! Not $200,000.
  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 and should be operational for at least another 13 years, making GPHA more money.
  6. GPHA is not contributing a pesewa to this! The workers should compare this 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.
  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. Our checks show that the fees being paid to GPHA is over and above the fee being paid for several LNG terminals across the world. The board directed and the management delivered.
  9. This is for 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 got a very good deal for GPHA and country.

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. Infact 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 Catepillar 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 tug boat 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 proposal, which they have not done.

Port Marine Engineer – Tema has sent a memo to Cummings Ghana Ltd for 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.

I also want to put on record that, the GPHA Board under my leadership has never dealt with any procurement matters for the simple reason that no procurement issues have ever been brought to the Board for consideration.

Let me add that the Union has a representative on the Board and they could have easily crossed checked these facts with him but for mischievous reasons.

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 from the Procurement Department and the Entity Tender Committee of GPHA.

I have five (5) children- three (3) 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 have consulted my lawyers and I reserve the right to pursue legal action against those who have made very defamatory comments against my personality.

 

 

 

Source: Starrfmonline