KHARTOUM (AFP) – Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Friday said that a deal to transfer the container terminal at Port Sudan to a Philippines company is under review after workers held a strike against the contract.
Hundreds of workers at Port Sudan, a vital economic hub of the east African country, went on strike for days last month to oppose Khartoum’s decision to transfer control of the terminal to the foreign firm International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI).
“We have already ordered a review of the contract with the Philippines company to ensure that it is a fair contact for Sudanese people,” Bashir told a gathering of people from east Sudan at his residence in Khartoum.
The presidency’s media office also confirmed that Bashir had ordered a review of the contract.
In July 2018, ICTSI informed the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission that it had won a bid to operate and manage the terminal under a 20-year concession.
The company said on its website that the tender process had been led by Sudan’s state-run Sea Ports Corporation (SPC) and had attracted bids from several international operators.
SPC builds, maintains and governs Sudan’s ports, harbours and lighthouses.
Port Sudan workers have opposed the contract and hundreds of them went on strike last month at a time when nationwide demonstrations have rocked Bashir’s rule stretching back three decades.
Protesters have taken to the streets, accusing his administration of mismanaging the country’s economy.
Sudan’s economic woes have long caused popular frustration, but anger spilled on to the streets in December after the government tripled the price of bread.