Ms. Benonita B. Bismarck, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority has made a call for a reduction of barriers and other bottlenecks such as the numerous checkpoints along the country’s transit routes to facilitate the free flow of goods.
She made the call when a 3-member delegation from the Authority paid a working visit to some stakeholders including the GRA-Customs, Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF) and the Customs Union Brokers Association of Ghana (CUBAG), operating at the Aflao border on the 28th July, 2017.
The visit to was to interact with these stakeholders and to share information on improving efficiency along the Ghana-Togo corridor and at the border.
Responding to the call, the Sector Commander of GRA-Customs at Aflao, Madam Kafui Modey admitted that there is quite a number of checkpoints on Ghana’s corridor which is inimical to the development of transit trade but explained that such measures are necessary to discourage traders who use unapproved routes in order to evade taxes. She however assured that with the bilateral agreement between Ghana and Togo to develop a joint border post at Noepe, the situation along the corridor and especially at the border is expected to greatly improve.
On the side of the GIFF and CUBAG, the discussion centered on pertinent issues affecting their work. Some concerns raised were delays experienced on the Togo – Nigeria corridor, a directive from GRA – Customs preventing trucks from entering the customs yard when the border closes at 10pm and a new directive from same instructing all cargoes destined to Cote d’Ivoire to use the Elubo route instead of Gonokrom. All these they said adversely affects the work of their members.
The Chief Executive Officer Ms. Benonita Bismarck said “the GSA is committed to ensuring that all bottlenecks in Ghana’s transit trade are removed from the corridors”. This can be achieved with the collaboration and commitment of all stakeholders, she added. She assured the Executives that the GSA will take their concerns up with the appropriate Authorities.
The Executives expressed their gratitude to the Authority for the working relationships and support they have received over the past years and assured the delegation of their cooperation.