GPHA tasked to complete harmonisation process by Sept. 1

Mrs Gyebi-Donkor (middle) conducting Mr Asiamah and his entourage round the transit terminal Photo: Godfred Blay Gibbah.

Mrs Gyebi-Donkor (middle) conducting Mr Asiamah and his entourage round the transit terminal Photo: Godfred Blay Gibbah.

The Minister for Transport, Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, has urged the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), to synchronise its systems with allied agencies in Ghana’s  ports before September 1.

That, he explained would make it possible to carry out an order by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, that from September 1 all public agencies handling and or inspecting cargo at the ports should work together to speed up the clearing process.

“GPHA, Customs, Meridian Port Services and the shipping lines get your acts together now because you have no excuse not to meet the deadline,” he said.

Mr Asiamah was speaking here on Monday during a familiarisation visit to the Tema port and facilities owned by the GPHA.

He was accompanied by his deputy Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover and the chairman of GPHA board, Peter Mac Manu.

Mr Asiamah said the harmonisation of operations of the agencies would also position GPHA to roll out paperless clearance of goods at ports and eliminate time wasting bottlenecks.

The General Manager, Corporate Marketing and Public Affairs of GPHA, Mrs Esther Gyebi-Donkor conducted the minister and his entourage round the transit terminal, bulk jetty, clinker wharf, Meridian Port Services, the Tema port expansion site, Tema Fishing Harbour, GPHA Data Centre and the International Maritime Hospital. They also visited the Tema Mantse at his palace.

At the Tema port extension site, the Safety and Security Officer, Christo Beylefeld, said the project had reclaimed more than 35 hectares of land out of a projected 60 hectares from the sea.

Mohammed Samara, Chief Executive Officer of MPS, said the first phase of the project would be completed in July 2019 and it would be fully operational in March 2020.
At the Data Centre some clearing agents who had come to transact business complained of delays due to the bureaucratic processes in place.

At the transit terminal it emerged that transit trade was suffering as a result of some shipping lines charging VAT. Apart from that some transit trucks traveling to Ouagadougou in a bid to avoid the bad nature of the road from Kintampo to Hamile did a 400km diversion impacting on cost of doing business in Ghana compared to Cote d’Ivoire.

At the Tema Mantse’s palace some of the elders of the stool requested among others that GPHA out of courtesy should provide employment and scholarships for natives of Tema Manhia to mitigate suffering resulting from their loss of land acquired for the port project and industries.

They were of the view that compensation paid at the time of the acquisition of the land was nothing to write home about.

The acting Director General of GPHA, Mr Paul Ansah and Mr Samara gave assurances that they would work assiduously to harmonise their systems to meet the September 1 deadline.

From Godfred Blay Gibbah, Tema.

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