Clean Up Mess at Ghana’s Ports – Entrepreneur

by Kofi Ayim

A Ghanaian entrepreneur has charged the government of Ghana to plug the leaks at Ghana ports to facilitate fluidity of clearing goods for optimized returns for the government. M r . Amo Acheampong, in an interview with Amandla, opined that several thousands of dollars are being siphoned into individual pockets because of a near Mafia-type syndicate at Ghana’s ports. Citing Tema harbor as example, Mr. Acheampong says unless government has the wherewithal to stem the vicious cycle of the syndicate, it will be fighting a losing battle, because control will still be in the hands of those who profit criminally from it. He said
U.S. ports faced similar problems until the government stepped in and jailed key figures of organized crime. He pointed out that, so long as Licensing and Clearing Certification are mostly in the hands of friends and families of the well-connected instead of legitimate businesses, government will find it next to impossible to fix the rot. Because Customs officers are precluded from owning clearing licenses, some use friends and family as fronts to acquire licenses that are not easily obtained by the aver- age legitimate shipping agency. He lamented that the cumbersome system and red-tapeism at the ports, coupled with naked bribery and corruption, has negative telling effects on importers, so much so that Ghana has lost much needed revenue from Burkina Faso.

The landlocked Burkina Faso now uses Lome harbor, in Togo as its port of clearance. He theorized that port de- lays profit shipping companies and Release Offices more so than the government of Ghana, because most Release Offices are in the hands of influential and organized syndicate.

He suggested that pre-submission of shipped cargo from foreign ports would be an efficient way to reduce unnecessary delays by eliminating unneeded middlemen. “All agents must reapply for recertification after govern- ment develops a simple and clear regulations on goods clearing,” he added. Mr. Acheampong thinks legitimate Ghanaian shipping agencies must be given concessions over their foreign competitors; after all, profits from Ghanaian businesses are more likely to be invested in Ghana. And because goods are inspected in the open and therefore at the mercy of inclement weather, selective inspections should be the rule of thumb. Flat rates for containers would also increase port efficiency and effectiveness, he commented. Mr Acheampong strongly believes that elimination of direct contact between agents and custom officials would curtail the bribery and corruption that are so prevalent and associated with Ghana ports.

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Posted by on Aug 12 2017. Filed under top stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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