The Director of Tema Port, Mr. Edward Osei, has bemoaned the very high number of police check points on the Tema/Paga road.
“There is supposed to be only two legal customs barriers from here to Burkina Faso. On our way we counted about fifty police blocks; there were a lot of them and we intend to tackle that immediately,” he said.
He said this on Monday during the official launching of the second border less road show in Ghana organized by the Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA), and the Borderless Alliance at the forecourt of Black Star Line, Tema.
The programme, which was on the theme: “Promoting Ghana as a gateway to regional trade: keep goods and people moving”, was to bring to the fore the challenges associated with road transport of cargo on Ghana’s
He observed that some drivers paid the sum of CFA 10000 at the Paga border as their trucks were leaving Ghana’s borders, and advised the drivers not to pay money to any agent.
He asked the drivers to send their documents personally to the Customs officials at the Ports without passing through middle men, adding that, “All customs officials are supposed to verify the documents you bringing. No money is supposed to exchange hands”
Mr. Zaid Hamoiu, President of Borderless Alliance, Ghana, said, “This road show emphasis all that we truly believe as the borderless alliance, that trade is the main engine for a country’s economic growth; that free movement of goods and people is a component of that economic growth and that Ghana itself is well positioned to become the true gateway for West Africa with better management from the seaport to the borders and beyond.”
Mr. Hamoiu observed that the programme would begin a full week of fact finding and information dissemination and interactions with transport operators, traders and uniformed officers along the Tema/Paga road corridor, which is Ghana’s main road into Burkina Faso and the land locked countries in the Sahel region.
“I am looking forward to the confirmation of the removal of all custom check points along the road corridor which was one of the recently announced reformed measures that was to take place from the first of September,” he informed.
According to him, “To get there, we need to have a closer look at the realities on the ground, for example, some of the charges levied on goods entering or transiting our country are redundant and make trade to our country unnecessarily expensive. Sanctioning indiscipline officers on the road, the Ports undergoing major paperless reforms and the resolve to open all our borders with our neighboring countries.”
“All of these are a reflection of renewed commitment of Ghana’s highest leadership to the promotion of regional economic integration and the promotion of the free movement of goods and people, not only across Ghana but also across West Africa,” he said.
He said, today traders and economic operators in Ghana can find help where and when they need it.
“Just walk into any of the strategically located shippers complaints unit of the Ghana Shippers Authority or the border information centres at the borders and you will have all your questions and complaints attended to,” he informed.
Mrs. Josiah Monica, Branch Manager, GSA, Tema, said GSA remained committed to its mandate of protecting and promoting the interest of shippers of this country and this collaboration was a clear manifestation of this commitment.
She said, “GSA over the years introduced innovative programmes and partnered with stakeholders to resolve shipping and logistic challenges that impede trade facilitation. This, no doubt, enhances service quality to shippers and improves Ghana’s competitiveness on the global market.”
According to her, “You will all agree that moving goods faster, cheaper and predictably along a country’s corridor significantly promotes economic development and therefore the need for the adoption of measures to reduce the impediments associated with road transport haulage of international trade cargo cannot be over emphasize.”
The programme was organized with support from Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), USAID Advanced Program, USAID West Africa Trade and Investment Hub and the West Africa Food Market Program.