The Ghana Integrity Initiative has held a multi stakeholder business integrity forum which sought to interrogate and assess procedures at Ghana’s port with the aim of promoting an effective and efficient business environment for the Ghanaian citizenry.
The forum saw significant participation from important stakeholder groups, including the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority, the freight-forwarding fraternity, shipping lines and state regulatory agencies in the port.
The Executive Director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative, Linda Ofori-Kwafo, said studies have indicated that, although much is being done in the area of reforms and interventions to transform the port industry, human centered factors are to blame for the gap in revenue mobilization and trade facilitation in the country. According to her, that this why the GII has created the platform for practical solutions to be arrived at by players in the port clearance chain to bring relief to the general public.
“Our clear focus is to highlight and find solutions to the challenges faced by importers in connection with the clearing of their goods at the port, especially in their dealings with the Customs division of the Ghana Revenue Authority,” she stated.
The Commissioner of Customs, Col. Kwadwo Damoah, in a speech read on his behalf by Bob Senyalah, an Assistant Commissioner said despite government’s intention to meet international trade facilitation agreements, by the introduction of reforms in the port industry, some prevalent issues that have hampered trade facilitation and revenue mobilization include, congestion in the port, negative attitude of officials at the port, and power struggle between state agencies operating at the port.
He admonished that the various legislative instruments around the port industry should be made clearer for all agencies to avoid conflicts in the execution of mandates.
He however said that the Customs division would continue to introduce interventions that would maximize trade facilitation in Ghana’s ports to bring ease to users of the port.
“The Customs division of the Ghana Revenue Authority takes this opportunity to assure the International Business Community and all trade practitioners that Customs with the support provided by government will always strive for continuous reforms aimed at promoting effectiveness and efficiency in the ports,” he assured.
Mary Adda, Programs Manager, of the Ghana Integrity Initiative, updating the audience and participants of the successes chalked by her outfit said, the GII will stay committed to bring transparency, accountability and efficiency within the both public and private sector space.
The Ghana Integrity Initiative is the local chapter of Transparency International, a non-governmental, non-profit civil organization focused on the fight against corruption.
Source: Eye on Port