Weekly Roundup: Port Sudan Container Terminal Controversy

Muawad Mustafa Rashid

In the news President of the Republic Omer Hassan Ahmed Al Bashir has ordered the concerned authorities to review the tender process to least out Port Sudan container terminal to ensure that Sudan got the best deal possible and that the manpower working will not be rehired.
However, the issue of Port Sudan container terminal contract which was awarded to a Filipino company was one of the most concentrated on issues in the recent few weeks as there were fears that the workers will be fired to be replaced by fewer numbers of manpower.
The arguments on the issue and the spread of rumours here and there made the President intervene to defuse the case after reviewing the terms of the contract.
However, the Filipino company issued a statement to clarify its position by affirming that leasing the state-owned container terminal to private operator is standard worldwide practice in the ports industry.
The company also confirmed that its presence will not affect the system of manual cargo workers describing such worries are unfounded, concluding that it will invest in training staff to international best practice in terms of operations, management, health and safety besides investing in an upgrade to facilities of the terminal.
The argument over the issue will continue till the revision of the contract is reviewed to see if it was fair for Sudan and the manpower of the terminal or otherwise.
Let us hope that the assigned committee to review the contract comes out with its recommendations as soon as possible to bring an end to the ongoing controversy.

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