Gov’t to host Port Efficiency Conference to drive reforms at ports

15 May 2017
1780 times
Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President
The government is bringing together experts from Dubai and Singapore to discuss how the country's ports could be reformed to improve efficiency.
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia said the government will be organising 'Port Efficiency Conference' on Wednesday to afford Ghanaian Port officials the opportunity to learn from best practices.
"We want to see what some of the best are doing...and how we can get a lot more automation and stop the human intervention," he said.
[M] Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta between two deputy ministers
The Vice President made this disclosure when he addressed the National Policy Summit 2017 organised by the Information Ministry at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) Monday.
Ghana's main ports - Takoradi and Tema ports - have been battling with challenges the Ports Authority says hamper efficiency at the two facilities. These challenges include infrastructure capacity constraints, inadequate funds for development, cumbersome cargo clearing processes, and inadequate space for development.
The challenges have been compounded by corruption at the ports, large uncleared cargoes, congestion by trucks as well as what experts say is the lack of competition in the stevedoring business.
An investigation by ace journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas in 2011 found some underhand dealings at the Tema Harbour.
Security officials at the Port were captured collaborating with some clearing agents to steal from the state through tax evasion and bribery. 
The discovery followed three months of investigation by the journalist where he posed as a clearing agent under the name Oblitey Sowah from the Tiger Shipping Agency.
Some reforms were made following the revelations but some importers say nothing has changed since then.
The government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has pledged to drive major reforms at the country's ports to make it a hub in the West African sub-Region.
The Vice President who last visited the Tema Port to be acquainted with happenings at the facility said government is working on automating processes there.
"On Wednesday, [there] will be some major eye openers...and we are hopeful we will then be able to take some radical decisions to make it more efficient," he said.
This, he said forms part of government plans to formalise the economy.
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