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President of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT-Ghana), Ebo Hammond, has entreated the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) to collaborate effectively with all relevant port stakeholder agencies to further expand and sustain Ghana’s logistics and transport chain.
According to him, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Ghana Community Network, Ghana Police, Insurance companies, among others, have roles to play in ensuring that Ghana’s ports become a preferred destination for transit business across the continent.
He was speaking at a meeting with the Director General of the GPHA, Michael Luguje, and other port executives in Tema.
Ebo Hammond who congratulated Michael Luguje for his appointment as the DG of GPHA, also commended him for the good work he is doing together with his officials to build a preferred port.
Commenting on the ports expansion project, the CILT-Ghana President was enthused about the foresight by the port authorities and expressed the hope that all measures will be taken to ensure that the project is completed on time.
He averred that the expansion of the ports will afford Ghana the opportunity to play a hub role in the West and Central Africa.
Ebo Hammond also enumerated that CILT-Ghana has observed that transit trade through Ghana has increased significantly to over one million tonnes, stressing that all bottlenecks which will hinder the ports feat must be curtailed.
He said issues such as shortages of tracking devices which most at times delays transit trucks which in turn put penalty pressures on returning transit trucks, should be addressed.
He also spoke about the impact of the paperless regime and indicated that its introduction is affecting clearance of cargoes and increasing revenue, but much needs to be done since there still exists some paper transactions at the port.
“We again appeal that all lingering challenges must be addressed for a full success of the system,” He said.
He also drew GPHA’s attention to the increasing police checkpoints even though there has been a reduction of Customs checkpoints.
“Whilst Customs checkpoints have reduced from 12 in July 2015 to 2 in November 2017, police checkpoints have increased from 41 to 61 over the same period,” he noted.
According to him the situation has created avenues for extortion.
He said: “Even though we are mindful of the police efforts to combat crime and attacks on the routes, there is the need to balance the two issues and address the challenge.”
He also suggested that the development of unapproved sea ports along the coast which has serious security effects for the nation must be looked at and the necessary measures be put in place to ensure compliance for any approval.
The GPHA boss, Michael Luguje who was enthused about the visit thanked CILT-Ghana for the honour and averred that GPHA is doing well to reposition Ghana port sector for growth and development.
He said, over the period CILT-Ghana and GPHA relationship has been strengthened and that he sees no reason why GPHA cannot be a member of CILT.
On the paperless ports system, Michael Luguje averred that 60% of all paper transactions have been integrated into their system adding that with time, he hopes all stakeholders including customs will conclude their system upgrading so as to do away with the paper system.
He said GPHA is exploring ways of deepening collaboration with all stakeholders to ensure efficient and effective business transactions at the port.
According to him,GPHA has a relationship with CILT-Ghana and that their collaboration will help both institutions actively work together on various projects in moving the logistics sector.
He pledged the company’s commitment to working with other key stakeholders in the trade facilitation community to make the country the preferred trading hub in the world.
Mr. Luguje, on his part, promised successful port reforms in the country.
Commenting on the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) which seems to have created some level of agitation, Luguje said the CTN is a good investment worth supporting but that stakeholders need to weigh the options better and implemented in a more accepted manner that will be fair to all.
Source: PROSPER AGBENYEGA