The recent spate of insurgent attacks on haulage truck drivers in the West African sub-region has put stakeholders on high alert as measures to address the threat effectively are explored.
Reports were rife three weeks ago about trucks numbering over eighteen (18) that were en route to Ghana from Niger being attacked by suspected jihadists in Burkina Faso, and the trucks being burnt beyond recognition. The number of drivers who perished is yet to be known.
To help address the threat, the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) collaborated with the security services to train haulage truck drivers on some protective measures they should adopt to escape from such incidents or defend themselves.
The pertinent information was inculcated in the GSA’s annual sensitization workshop for haulage truck drivers which was held at Tema on Wednesday 17th May 2023.
Personnel from the Military, Police and the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) took the truck drivers through the Precautionary and Reactionary Security Assessment on the transit corridors. Capt. Ishmael Frimpong from the Ghana Armed Forces Training School, admonished the truck drivers to exercise restraint should they be confronted by such insurgents and cooperate with them to preserve their lives. He further advised that they should subtly take note of the language they speak, their general physical appearance and the type of weapons they use to assist the security agencies trace them.
In an address read on her behalf by the Head of Public Relations, Ms. Bernice Natue of the GSA, the CEO of the GSA, Ms. Benonita Bismarck, said that, the sensitization workshop by the GSA was aimed at building the capacity of the truck drivers to guard against the anti-social practices of the insurgents.
“The heightened security concerns and the risks posed to transit consignment, the trucks and in particular the life of the drivers and their assistants have largely informed the selection of the topics for the workshop” she noted.
The Head of the Freight and Logistics Department of the GSA, Mr. Fred Asiedu Dartey said that recent happenings show that transit trucks are now being targeted by insurgents, unlike previously.
“The insurgency has been around for some time, but the focus had not been on transit trucks, but it does appear that they have also become targets for the insurgents”, he stated.
The sensitization workshop also featured presentations on the impact of the ECOWAS Brown Card on transit operations, Management of Transit Incidences along Ghana’s Transit Corridors, and the Status of the Axle Load Stations along Ghana’s transit corridors.
Some of the truck drivers who were concerned about the recent attacks on cargo trucks commended the GSA for taking swift action such as the sensitization workshop to deal with the security challenge. They said that the intervention would enhance their operations.