Officers of the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Department (PPRSD) and the Immigrations Service of Ghana operating at the Namoo border in the Upper East Region have been engaged by the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) over reports received from Cross Boarder Traders. GSA held the meetings with the officials stationed at the border on Friday, 16th June 2023, to seek amicable solutions to the issues raised.
During an earlier routine visit to shippers in the area, the GSA received complaints from traders regarding the confiscation of tubers of yam by PPRSD officers who claimed to use the tubers of yam as samples for testing. The traders also complained of incidents of extortion and aggressive behavior by some Immigration Officials at the border.
According to the PPRSD officials at the border, it is standard practice for them to collect samples from the front, middle, and rear of trucks transporting yams to conduct mandatory tests and make declarations about the entire consignment. Regarding extortion, the Immigration Officers explained that some traders carry expired ID cards and other invalid travel documents, resulting in penalties intended to serve as a deterrent.
Officials of the GSA in a meeting with the Cross-Border Traders to brief them on the outcome of the investigations into their claims.
The Officers acknowledged that there may be some individuals amongst them who might be misconducting themselves. They encouraged traders to report such incidents for the appropriate action to be taken against such Officers. The Immigration officers reiterated the importance of reporting challenges they faced during their shipping operations to the GSA’s Shipper Complaints and Support Unit (SCSU) at Paga in the Upper East Region or its office at Tamale.
On June 16, 2023, the traders were briefed on the outcome of the engagements with the officials of the Regulatory Agencies. Mr. Abdul-Karim Muhsin, an officer of the GSA, urged PPRSD officials to consider the circumstances of small-scale traders when enforcing regulations, and they agreed to be more considerate. The traders were also advised to ensure that their documentation meets the set requirements before crossing the border for their trade activities to avoid penalties.
The traders commended GSA for the promptness with which their concerns were addressed when they reached out for assistance.