Director General of the Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority (GPHA) Michael Luguje has revealed that the Covid-19 pandemic significantly affected the oil and gas business service, which was largely concentrated at the Port of Takoradi.
He indicated that there was close to 40 percent drop in revenue from oil and gas service activities as many companies in the sector either cancelled or suspended operations.
“…for the oil and gas sector, cargo and revenue dropped by about 30 to 40 percent. We also had some challenges with manganese volumes due to some government related issues and not necessarily the Covid-19. But for Tema, the effect has been a bit minimal in terms of cargo volumes as they have not really dropped that much. It is just about 5 percent.”
The Director General of GPHA was speaking to the media after a Thanksgiving Ceremony by the Port of Takoradi on the theme: ‘Ebenezer, saying thus far the Lord has helped us’.
Mr. Luguje observed that port business in the country in 2020 was a reflection of what happened around the world, where the Covid-19 pandemic affected global trade, resulting in a drop in projected revenue.
He explained that for port business in the country, the oil and gas service was the worst hit.
But the Director-General noted that in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, GPHA has learned valuable lessons, which should enable it absorb shocks from any global pandemic in the future.
For example, he said GPHA has looked at how it can work with a minimal workforce and still be efficient should the need arise in future.
“…it has taught us lessons of prioritizing preventive measures than curative ones. When Covid-19 came, we had to look at ways that can help us work with limited resources. We also have looked at what are the minimal levels we can keep people and still be able to operate and save the country. If you are working with half of the workforce today, how can you continue so that customers don’t suffer. We have looked at other activities that can be done from home. What we’ve also learned is about revenue, that you could wake up tomorrow and for some global pandemic your revenue levels might drop or probably you will not be able to generate revenue at the pace you expect them. So how can you manage with the little, how can you prioritize and look at prudent and lean budget”.
Director of the Port of Takoradi Captain Ebenezer Afedzie said due to the Covid-19 they could not achieve their set revenue targets.
“In 2020, our target for Manganese was 6 million tonnes. However, they were able to do just about 50 percent. This was due to the COVID 19 and also the fact that Manganese had a problem and did not work up till April. For Bauxite the target was 1.5 million tonnes but they are yet to reach that target. The oil and gas business slowed done because most of the companies suspended their activities and so the vessels were not coming. But General cargo vessel were coming as expected.”
He noted that because the effect of Covid-19 still lingers, they are being cautious with projection for 2021 even though he was confident that business will pick up.
“…we are looking at a 20 percent increase while remaining hopeful that we can exceed it if all go well as we are expecting that the COVID 19 will go down for our customers who went away to come back”.
Deserving employers were awarded for their heroic selfless dedication to work.
By Eric Yaw Adjei|3news.com|Ghana