The senior and junior staff unions of the Volta Lake Transport Company have called for immediate takeover of the company by Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.
At the moment Volta Lake Transport Company which was incorporated in 1970, operates river transportation for passengers, bulk haulage of petroleum products and significant quantity of cement, and cross-lake ferry services along the Volta Lake following the construction of the Akosombo Dam.
For some reasons, the Volta Lake Transport Company has been operating under the management of the Volta River Authority since its inception. This situation meant that automatically, the Transport Company was supervised by the Energy Ministry as a result of its being a subsidiary of the VRA.
According to the union executives this development has placed the company at a disadvantage position for a very long time.
They complain that, because it’s a company offering transportation services, Volta River Authority does not regard its services as a core function, hence, pay less attention to them and by extension gets least support from its mother Ministry which is the energy Ministry.
The Union Executives say it is for this reason that they have come to the conclusion that they want to be placed under the Ministry of Transport since it provides river Transportation services and the only way they can be placed under the Ministry of Transport according to the Union is for Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority to take over the Management of the Volta Lake Transport Company and not the VRA.
Chairman of the Senior Staff Union of VRTC, Moses Larbi said the company is struggling to replace old vessels and equipment with modern ones. He said some of the equipment that were imported have stayed at the port and attracted demurrage which unfortunately, VLTC have not been able to clear them. They argue that a takeover by the Port Authority is their only hope as the port authority intends to expand the transit trade.
“The name of Tema Port has reached very far. In West Africa and in Africa it is becoming the number one port so everybody has to strategize. If the cargo should reach here, and the railway I am told is speedy one which will facilitate the movement of goods to Akosombo, then need to reposition ourselves,” he said.
The Acting Director General of GPHA, Paul Asare Ansah promised the VLTC Union Executives, the Port Authority will intervene to assist Volta Lake Transport to clear the equipment that have been abandoned in the port.
“There are other issues that you raised that you imported some parts that are stacked at the port. Every assistance that you need to clear them from the port, we will offer them,” he promised.
He also laid emphasis on the Port Authority’s commitment to doing everything in his capacity to facilitate the trade and transport sector with intermodal transport connectivity.
“I am obliged to do everything possible to ensure that the intermodal transport connectivity helps to lift up the activities at Volta Lake Transport Company,” he added.
On the request for GPHA to take over the management of Volta Lake Transport Company, the Director General of GPHA Paul Asare, told the union executives, the management team of the Port Authority will first meet with the management team of VLTC to see how best the Port Authority can support VLTC to grow.
“We will reciprocate this gesture by visiting your management. We cannot discuss your management issues here”, he added.
He however advised the union executives to unite with their management to fight for the common good of the company.
Sandra Opoku, GM, Administration of GPHA said GPHA would also assist in inviting VRTC staff in their training programmes.