Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority Benonita Bismarck has called for the continuous dialogue among relevant stakeholders with a commitment to help facilitate transit trade and with the view of ensuring that the country’s corridor remains the most preferred in the sub-region.
According to her, even though there are fundamental issues affecting the haulage of goods along Ghana’s corridor, a commitment to continuous dialogue will help remove teething bottlenecks for a desirous transit trade.
“Action and inaction of haulage truck drivers add cost to the shipper. There are delays in the return of empty containers resulting in detention charges, delays by loaded transit trucks to exit the country attracts penalties, changing the prescribed route for the transit goods also attracts a penalty while returning an empty container with debris attracts a container cleaning charge.”
She mentioned that a fact-finding trip in May this year on the Tema-Hamile corridor revealed a disturbing number of barriers and checkpoints which if not properly regulated will harm transit trade along Ghana’s corridor.
“We saw 55 Police and MTTD stops which included 40 permanent barriers and 15 temporary barriers, 2 Forestry Commission checkpoints, 3 Immigration checkpoints, 4 axle load stations – Tema motorway, Akom, a mobile axle weighbridge at Doboro and Sawala.”
But at a sensitization workshop for haulage truck drivers in Takoradi in the Western Region, Ms Bismarck assured that it is the avowed commitment of her outfit that no effort is spared in ensuring that truck drivers are regularly sensitized and fully equipped on international conventions, national and regional regulations, directives and measures that relate directly to their operations in order to engender full compliance.
“With respect to the conduct of the police on the corridor, the Authority is collaborating with the Police Administration to conduct sensitization seminars along the corridors. These events have already been held in Kumasi, Techiman and Tamale, with very encouraging outcomes. Those for Bolgatanga and Wa have been scheduled for the third quarter of this year.”
The Chief Executive Officer applauded the Inspector General of Police (IGP), James Oppong-Boanuh, for his personal commitment to removing trade barriers along Ghana’s transit corridors.
She indicated that, already, the e-Platform instituted by the Ghana Shippers’ Authority for reporting of Non-Tariff Barriers over the last few years is receiving positive outcomes.
“The performance report of this platform has indicated that an average of 98 percent of all reported complaints against the Police, Axle Load Officer, Customs and other operatives along the corridor have been resolved. The Authority therefore urges all truck drivers to use the platform as their first point of call for issues along the corridor,” she urged.