Expansion of port will create more employment – Minister

Mr Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover, the Deputy Minister of Transport has revealed that the expansion of the Tema Harbour would boost government’s employment creation.

With the bulk handling jetty, six mobile harbour cranes and additional new tugboats and a security patrol boat, additional hands would be needed, he added.

The Deputy Minister said with the reconstruction of access road to the Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority (GPHA), the youth especially would be gainfully employed.

Mr Titus-Glover was addressing participants of the Sixth Maritime Seminar for journalists in Accra organised jointly by the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) and the Ghana Journalists’ Association (GJA), on the theme “Contemporary Trends and Developments in Ghana’s Shipping Industry”.

He said Ghana was positioning itself to become the best maritime hub for trade in the sub-region with port expansion as well as other policy interventions such as; the Paperless Port System to make the Takoradi and Tema Ports more competitive.

Mr Titus-Glover said, the development would also reduce cost of doing business, improve customer satisfaction and increase revenue.

Mr Emmanuel Arku, Head of Research, Monitoring and Evaluation Department, of the Authority has stated that incurring penalties otherwise known as demurrage, on imported goods as a result of delays could be avoided by shippers to save their businesses.

Demurrage, he explained, came in the form of container and land demurrages and the point whereby shippers paid rent on both their containers and land till they were cleared was a huge disadvantage to their capital.

Mr Arku explained that demurrage did not only affect the individual importers but also the nation as a whole, citing that it reduced their profit, affected value of imports and increased cost of living in the country as Ghana’s foreign exchange dwindled.

He disclosed that in 2016 and 2017 Shippers in Ghana respectively paid $95 million and $76 million, as container demurrage as compared to $28 million, this year between January and June.

He emphasised that all the funds were lost by the Country as Ghana did not own even a shipping company.

On the other hand, he said Shippers in Ghana paid GH¢43 million and GH¢49 million, for 2016 and 2017, respectively, as rent on lands as compared to GH¢20 million, this year between January and June.

Mr Arku gave some of the causes of demurrage as; bureaucratic nature of operation lines, unprofessional conduct of some clearing agents, difficulties in locating containers at the terminals, among others.

He therefore advised shippers to start clearance procedures early, secure licences and permits before cargo arrival, submit genuine documents and get ready funds for clearance to avoid the payments.

Source: GNA

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