IBISTEK Limited, a wholly Ghanaian owned construction company, has been granted a GH₵65million tax waiver by the Parliament of Ghana for the rehabilitation and expansion works of the Takoradi port project it has contracted to execute.
The approval of the tax waiver follows a recommendation by the Finance Committee of Parliament to the plenary in its report after considering the request for the waiver of Import Duties, Import VAT/GETFund Levy,Import NHIL,EXIM Levy, Special Import Levy and other local taxes amounting to GH₵65,248,397.60 on materials and equipment to be procured for the development of an Integrated Container and Multi-Purpose Terminal at the Takoradi Port by IBISTEK Limited under a Concession Agreement between the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and IBISTEK Limited, that was referred to it by the Speaker.
Per the dictates of the Concession Agreement, IBISTEK Limited is expected to design, redesign, engineer, finance, construct, equip, operate, manage, maintain and repair the Container and Multipurpose Terminal(C&MPT) at the Port of Takoradi for the handling, storage and delivery of containers, RoRo cargo, general project cargo, oil and gas exploration cargo (including pipes and steel and agri-bulk cargo such as cocoa, cereals and grains).
The Concessioner is also expected to rehabilitate and reconstruct the port access roads.
The project which is meant to address the infrastructure deficit at the Takoradi Port, when completed, will increase the port’s throughput capacity to adequately handle the country’s trade growth.
It will also create about 2,000 jobs that will contribute to pension funds, national health insurance scheme, connect Ghana to the global market and facilitating trade that will enable Ghanaians to cost effectively compete for businesses.
It will also strengthen the strategic position of the Takoradi Port in the sub-region as larger vessels would be able to dock at the port while providing new infrastructure and modern equipment and advanced technology to serve larger and deeper vessels.
In addition to these, the project will help develop the port’s competitiveness and attractiveness to secure its leading position in West Africa.
The scope of the works at the port under the Concessional Agreement includes: access channel dredged to 16metres; extension of breakwater 1.08 Northward; construction of bulk terminals with 16metres depth; construction of oil service terminal; reclamation of 53 hectares of land; construction of open storage area for oil field; plant and machinery and construction of dual access roads to the port.
Contribution to the discussion for the granting of the tax waiver, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale Central and a former Minister for Roads and Highways, said IBISTEK Limited is a tried and tested Ghanaian construction and therefore the award of the tax waiver was in order.
The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, on his part, lauded the project and maintained that “it will increase employment to over 2,000 when it commences and about double when it is completed.”
He also noted that the rehabilitation and expansion project is to make the Takoradi Port, the “port of choice not only in Ghana but Sub-Saharan Africa”.
The Takoradi Port dates back to April 3, 1928 when it was officially commissioned and opened for operations. Since then, the port has not seen any dramatic expansion or any major rehabilitation work even though the economy and maritime trade (exports and imports) has seen substantial growth and increase in ship sizes.
The existing infrastructure is unable to support the increased volume in trade at the port. There is therefore the need for the port to be modernized and expanded at this point in time in order to prevent any unforeseen congestion.