A high profile delegation consisting economic operators from Niger have made a historic visit to the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.
They were welcomed by the Director General of GPHA and major stakeholders in the port and transport logistics industry including, the Commissioner of Customs, Isaac Crentsil, CEO of the Ghana Shippers Authority, Benonita Bismarck, Director of Tema Port Edward Kofi Osei, President of Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders Kwabena Ofosu Appiah and Commander of the Marine Railways and Port of the Ghana Police Service Chief Supt. Joseph Ababio
The Nigerien economic operators first engaged major actors of Ghana’s trade and maritime industry about issues concerning the transit trade, which Niger is a major beneficiary of.
The Acting Director-General of GPHA, Michael Luguje said, his outfit in collaboration with all the responsible actors are putting all measures in place to ensure an efficient and secured transit trade sector.
“We are assuring you that everything would be put in place to make sure that the transit cargo from our port to Niger would be smooth. And you have also heard from the Commissioner of Customs, who has assured that all the necessary plans would be put in place to ensure that your goods travel from our ports to your country safely,” he said.
Benonita Bismarck, CEO of Ghana Shippers’ Authority said, Ghana is positioning itself to be the best trade route in the sub-region.
“We want the Ghanaian corridor to be the best in the sub- region for both import and export therefore please take advantage,”
Commissioner of Customs Isaac Crentsil complained about the phenomenon of cargo diversion and said his outfit was assessing how the economic operators of the Sahelian region can collaborate to eliminate the canker.
“Notwithstanding all those challenges one of the most difficult one is diversion. We have taken so many steps to address some of these things, very soon I will come to the Niger capital to meet you and see how best we can address these diversions within the system”, he said.
President of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Kwabena Ofosu Appiah called for regular engagement with all players to ensure maximum satisfaction for both the customer and the state.
“We have to dialogue severally so that everybody gets a certain level of satisfaction,” he noted.
The Commander of the Marine Police and Railways Unit of the Ghana Police, Chief Supt. Joseph Ababio, assured the Nigerien economic operators that Ghana Police will continue to ensure that the corridors are safe and secure for business.
“With us, the police we will make sure that our country is safe for you to come and do your business, since our core mandate is maintenance of law and order”, he stated.
The Nigerien Economic Operators discussed some challenges they encounter on the corridor, that impede smooth and efficient transportation of cargo including payment of $200 tax on transit.
The Director of Transport of the Niger Shippers’ Council, praised the Ghanaian Authorities for being committed to providing a smooth corridor for the transit trade.
“We are going back as a delegation to send the good news, that the Ports of Ghana and the Ghanaian Authorities have promised and then they have honored,” he said.
The delegates were taken round the operational areas of the Tema Port including the magnificent Tema Port expansion site.