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Sep 23, 2020

The Executive Director of the Centre for Maritime Law and Security, Dr. Kamal-Deen Ali Rtd has urged government to empower the nation’s security and security intelligence apparatus with the needed retooling in the areas of logistics, financing, technology and so on in order to match up with the growing sophistication in the fight against piracy which is spreading rapidly into the country’s territorial waters.

Speaking on Eye on Port, Dr. Kamal-Deen Ali, who is also a Retired Navy Captain said it has become incumbent upon Ghana, as a matter of urgency to focus its attention on the subject of piracy which has become a threatening menace to human life and trading in the sub region.

“Piracy is not something that only affects vessels, it affects businesses, it affects livelihoods, affects everything. It could be that an attacked vessel may be carrying medical supplies, etc.,” he highlighted.

He said for the international maritime trade, one of the contributing factors to high cost of freight, is due to the unsafe nature of the sub region’s territorial waters, therefore, resulting in high cost of insurance on cargo and ships’ crew, which inevitably are transferred unto the innocent importer and consequently the ordinary consumer.

“Because of the endemic nature of piracy in our waters, vessels coming will have to take the same war-risk insurance. So it means they are paying very high level of premium and that is then passed on to the importer,” Dr. Kamal-Deen Ali explained.

He stated that it has become more incumbent on the national security apparatus, especially the navy to be equipped, retooled and given the right financial backing to be able to tackle pirates, which he said have become more sophisticated in their operations.

“The way forward is to equip the navy sufficiently. The navy needs different class of vessels to be able to operate and have greater presence at sea for longer period and undertake the protection of our waters,” he appealed.

The Retired Navy Captain, also advised that the nation’s security apparatus should revise their fundamentals, especially by strengthening its relationship with the local coastal communities in order to make significant steps towards controlling the nation's territorial waters and arresting perpetrators of sea crimes such as piracy who plot their raids on land.

“We need to involve the local coastal communities in this discourse. Because they are our greatest visibility we have at sea. They send hundreds of canoes to the sea,” The Retired Naval Captain suggested.

Dr. Kamal-Deen Ali also called for improved inter-regional cooperation among the security institutions of the countries in the sub-region especially in investigations to trace the profile of those in the criminal activity of piracy.

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  • September 23,2020

    The Executive Director of the Centre for Maritime Law and Security, Dr. Kamal-Deen Ali Rtd has urged government to empower the nation’s security and security intelligence apparatus with the needed retooling in the areas of logistics, financing, technology and so on in order to match up with the growing sophistication in the fight against piracy which is spreading rapidly into the country’s territorial waters.

    Speaking on Eye on Port, Dr. Kamal-Deen Ali, who is also a Retired Navy Captain said it has become incumbent upon Ghana, as a matter of urgency to focus its attention on the subject of piracy which has become a threatening menace to human life and trading in the sub region.

    “Piracy is not something that only affects vessels, it affects businesses, it affects livelihoods, affects everything. It could be that an attacked vessel may be carrying medical supplies, etc.,” he highlighted.

    He said for the international maritime trade, one of the contributing factors to high cost of freight, is due to the unsafe nature of the sub region’s territorial waters, therefore, resulting in high cost of insurance on cargo and ships’ crew, which inevitably are transferred unto the innocent importer and consequently the ordinary consumer.

    “Because of the endemic nature of piracy in our waters, vessels coming will have to take the same war-risk insurance. So it means they are paying very high level of premium and that is then passed on to the importer,” Dr. Kamal-Deen Ali explained.

    He stated that it has become more incumbent on the national security apparatus, especially the navy to be equipped, retooled and given the right financial backing to be able to tackle pirates, which he said have become more sophisticated in their operations.

    “The way forward is to equip the navy sufficiently. The navy needs different class of vessels to be able to operate and have greater presence at sea for longer period and undertake the protection of our waters,” he appealed.

    The Retired Navy Captain, also advised that the nation’s security apparatus should revise their fundamentals, especially by strengthening its relationship with the local coastal communities in order to make significant steps towards controlling the nation's territorial waters and arresting perpetrators of sea crimes such as piracy who plot their raids on land.

    “We need to involve the local coastal communities in this discourse. Because they are our greatest visibility we have at sea. They send hundreds of canoes to the sea,” The Retired Naval Captain suggested.

    Dr. Kamal-Deen Ali also called for improved inter-regional cooperation among the security institutions of the countries in the sub-region especially in investigations to trace the profile of those in the criminal activity of piracy.


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  • September 23,2020

    The Executive Director of the Centre for Maritime Law and Security (CEMLAWS) and a Retired Naval Captain, Dr. Kamal-Deen Ali, has revealed alarming trends in its new report concerning the dark shades of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, indicating an exponential spread of attacks across the Gulf, where Ghana was not spared.

    The retired Naval Captain indicated that “as the month of August came to an end, pirates registered their presence in Ghana’s Exclusive Economic Zone, with an attack on the Ghanaian-flag fishing vessel AP 703 where two foreign crew members were kidnapped.”

    According to him, this attack is significant because, over the years, there have been fewer attacks in Ghana’s coastal areas.

    Speaking on Eye on Port, the Executive Director of the Centre for Maritime Law and Security, Dr. Kamal-Deen Ali Rtd, said the spread of pirates in 2020 across the sub region is very alarming and the highest since 2008.

    “We have had many more countries that have experienced piracy attacks in the same period as compared to the previous years. We have piracy footprints in Equatorial Guinea, quite a number in Nigerian waters, quite a number in DR Congo, Cameroun, Cote D’Ivoire, Benin, Togo and then Ghana.”

    He said mass crew abductions are at an all-time high with recorded numbers of raids on fishing vessels and oil tankers.

    “We have had cases of mass kidnappings, where in certain cases ten, or twelve people are taken in 2020 alone, and that is worrying,” Dr. Ali lamented.

    He revealed that CEMLAWS found in its recent report that the Niger Delta is the number one breeding grounds for organized piracy syndicates.

    “The signals we are picking is that, when these people kidnap the ship’s crew and they get to Nigeria, other people take over.”

    Dr. Kamal-Deen Ali added that “a whole sophisticated team takes over. There are those who negotiate the ransom, and those who transport the abductees. Originally, those kidnapped were abused and manhandled. What we are hearing now is that some of them are actually being kept in very comfortable places of high level accommodations.”

    He said it is so far unclear, the powers that support the highly sophisticated, technologically advanced and heavily financially resourced organized sea crime of piracy.

    “We have to be interested in looking at the layers supporting this. For example, there is one particular case in Nigeria where some security company, has been allegedly involved in moving ransom. But Nigerians are asking more questions,” he disclosed.

    The Executive Director of CEMLAWS suggested that the crime of piracy is also thriving because it seems to be a lucrative enterprise.

    “The returns are very high. If you went to sea and you kidnapped three or four people and you can make a million dollars, it is worth it, so a lot of investment is going on there,” he said.

    He said the complexities in the modern advanced organization of piracy has made pirates well-advantaged to conduct attacks in deep seas enabling them to evade the intervention of Security forces including the Navy.

    “These pirates are using smaller speedboats. Classically when pirates are able to take vessels deeper into the sea, they do that with the help of a mother ship. The pirates have been able to redesign their operations in such a way that they use a number of speedboats that reinforce each other, some carrying their supplies and logistics, which allow them to take vessels further,” he explained.

    According to Dr. Kamal Deen-Ali, these developments have become urgently necessary for the immediate retooling and reinforcing of the Navy and its allied security agencies to nip the menace of piracy in the bud.


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  • September 23,2020

    The Minister of Transport, Kweku Ofori Asiamah has led a delegation comprising, the Acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Transport and the Ministerial Advisory Board, Mrs. Mabel Sagoe, Officials from the Ministry of Transport as well as the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority to inspect current works at three fishing landing sites in Axim, Winneba and Senya Bereku which are part of the initial eleven coastal areas designated by government to be transformed into modern fishing ports and landing sites in Ghana.

    Following the announcement of Ekumfi Otuam by the government as part of the sites designated for the projects, the number of coastal areas expected to have a modernized and well equipped fishing landing sites now comes to twelve (12) in number with Axim and Dixcove in the Western Region, Otuam, Moree, Mumford, Winneba, Senya Beraku, Gomoa Fete and Elmina in the Central Region, Teshie and James Town in the Greater Accra Region, and Keta in the Volta Region.

    During the visit to the three fishing landing sites in Axim, Winneba and Senya Bereku, the Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah took the opportunity to address some concerns of the fishing community at the various sites of construction and assured them of a timely completion of the projects.

    The Minister also presented an award to the China Harbour Engineering Company, the contractors of the projects, for completing 500,000 man-hours without any injuries on the projects so far.

    “As much as you are trying to finish well, you are not compromising safety and that is key for me,” the Minister stated. Already, work is progressing steadily at all the locations where construction has commenced including Elmina where the President recently cut sod for that project.

    As at August, 2020, the completion stages of the various fishing Port and Landing sites were as follows: Axim 42.01%, Dixcove is 38.23%, Moree 37.52%, Mumford 38.57%, Winneba 8.88%, Senya 90.69%, Gomoa Fete 69.82%, Teshie 38.32% and Keta 5.25%.

    The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority is supervising the construction of all twelve (12) fishing Ports and landing site projects as the Nation’s Agency responsible for building, managing and operating all ports and port related infrastructure in Ghana.


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  • September 23,2020

    The Minister of Transport, Kweku Ofori Asiamah has on Wednesday, 16th September, 2020 announced the construction of an additional fishing port and landing site in Otuam in the Ekumfi District of the Central Region of Ghana.

    According to the Transport Minister, funds have already been made available for the Ekumfi Otuam fishing Port and landing sites and construction is expected to commence in September, 2020.

    “I am the Minister of Transport and I can assure you that the money for this project is available,” The Transport Minister explained in the local dialect.

    The Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah who was accompanied by the Member of Parliament for Ekumfi Constituency and Deputy Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Kingsley Francis Ato Codjoe, the Acting Chief Director at the Ministry of Transport, Mrs. Mabel Sagoe, Engineers and Consultants of China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), Engineers and Officials from the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and the Ministry of Transport revealed that the project will comprise of a breakwater, a fish market, a net mending hall, a fuel station, an ice making plant, and a day care centre for children.

    Taking his turn to address the Chiefs and people of Ekumfi Otuam, the Member of Parliament for Ekumfi Constituency and Deputy Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Kingsley Francis Ato Codjoe expressed gratitude to the President of the Republic, Nana Akufo Addo for selecting Ekumfi Otuam as a beneficiary of the fishing ports and landing site projects.

    The Transport Minister, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah introduced the engineers from CHEC, who have been contracted to construct the fish landing site in Otuam to the traditional authorities and members of the community and encouraged the local people in the community to live in harmony with the contractors to ensure speedy execution of the project.

    “There would come a point where you may encounter some discomforts as a result of the construction works. You may need to temporarily relocate your activities. When the time comes, please come together for a pleasant way forward,” The Minister adviced.

    The Members of the Otuam Traditional Authority called for unity among the people to ensure that the project is successfully executed for the benefit of the community.

    “Let us come together in unity and prayer to ensure this project is successful because it has been long overdue,” the Chief of Otuam encouraged.

    The Deputy Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, and Member of Parliament for Ekumfi Constituency, Kingsley Francis Ato Codjoe, assured the fishing community of the government’s commitment to develop the fisheries sector for national economic development.

    “We thank the President, Nana Akufo-Addo for committing to invest into the coastal regions of the country,” he said.

    Otuam which is located in the Ekumfi District of the Central Region of Ghana and well known as the hometown of the former and late President, Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills, becomes the 12th community, selected by government to construct the fishing ports and landing sites with the other initial eleven being Axim and Dixcove in the Western Region, Moree, Mumford, Winneba, Senya Beraku, Gomoa Fete and Elmina in the Central Region, Teshie and James Town in the Greater Accra Region, and Keta in the Volta Region.


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  • September 23,2020

    The Vice President of the Republic, His Excellency Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has commissioned a new liquid bulk terminal at the Port of Takoradi which would be responsible for receiving bulk liquid cargo such as petrol, diesel, LPG, heavy fuel and bitumen.

    The new state of the art liquid bulk terminal which cost about USD 56.7M was built, and would be operated and managed by Marshall Oil and Gas Services, a subsidiary of the IbisTek Group of Companies, who are playing a major role in infrastructural developments at the Port of Takoradi.

    It consists of a -14m chart datum, 5 loading arms for the various petroleum products which are petrol, diesel, LPG, heavy fuel and bitumen. It has a berthing capacity to handle vessels up to 60,000 tonnes of petroleum cargo.

    The Chairman of the IbisTek Group, Kwame Gyan, expressed gratitude to the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and its local financial partners for the faith shown in the indigenous business entity towards contributing to Ghana’s port infrastructural development.

    “IbisTek is very grateful to the management and staff of GPHA for their tremendous support and collaboration. Minus GPHA, there wouldn’t be any IbisTek involvement in the Port of Takoradi,” he expressed.

    The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Peter Mac Manu said the terminal is positioned to meet more than 50% of Ghana’s domestic petroleum consumption and it would also bring about many employment avenues.

    “The terminal is also expected to employ a regular 100 import specialist personnel, and more than 500 indirect persons to operate the facility,” he indicated.

    The Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah said, Government’s resilience to support IbisTek to develop its various infrastructural developments at the Port of Takoradi is a demonstration of the commitment to boosting the capacity of the Ghanaian private sector in meeting capital intensive industrialization objectives.

    “We have made significant progress towards the provision of necessary facilities to meet the demands of our oil and gas industry, increase commercial trade and also to improve the competitiveness of the port to other neighbouring countries,” he added.

    The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia stated that the Liquid Bulk Terminal project ties in with government’s vision towards ensuring efficiency in the country’s port operations which would go a long way to position the country as a major petroleum hub in the sub-region.

    “When you look at what they are doing in the context of the expansion of the Takoradi Port, it all comes together in making this port a major petroleum hub in the sub-region.”

    He commended Ibistek Group, for a timely delivery of the project which he has taken particular interest in, due to the vision the IbisTek Group presented to the Presidency.


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  • September 17,2020

    Management of the Port of Takoradi, has revealed that despite steady growth in import traffic, there has been significant drop in export cargo traffic at the Port of Takoradi for the first half of 2020 as a result of about four-month long halt in manganese export through the Port of Takoradi.

    Speaking on the Eye on Port program, the Human Resource Manager at the Port of Takoradi, Peter Amo Bediako, disclosed that, there was about 53% reduction in cargo traffic for the first six months of the year 2020 compared to same period in 2019.

    This shortfall, he said is largely attributable to a drop in export by 68% as a result of the inability to ship manganese in the first four months of 2020.

    “If you look at exports alone, we lost a total export of 2.9 Million metric tonnes of cargo. Out of that, 2.2 million metric tonnes, representing 76% was manganese,” he explained.

    He made these revelations in an attempt to answer a question that sought to find out if any direct link could be drawn from the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on business at the port.

    He explained that, instead, manganese export took a break, following some discussions between government and the manganese companies to rearrange its deal.

    “The issue with manganese had nothing to do with COVID. I think some discussions were going on about the capping of manganese exports through the port and this is still being discussed and that is what affected us, for about a six months’ period.”

    However, the HR Manager, who was formerly in charge of Marketing and Public Affairs at the Port of Takoradi Port, updated that in May, exports of Manganese began.

    Regarding imports, Peter Amo Bediako said in the first half of 2019, 1.4 million metric tonnes of cargo was handled at the Port of Takoradi, compared to 1.29 million metric tonnes handled in the same period of 2020, which has some slight correlation with the coronavirus.

    However, according to him, because the Port of Takoradi’s performance has been heavily reliant on exports, the fall in export numbers makes it more conspicuous in the half year outlook.


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  • September 17,2020

    The Group Chief Executive Officer of IBISTEK Group of Companies, Dr. Felix Nana Sackey has revealed that the first phase of the much touted Atlantic multipurpose terminal would be completed in September 2021.

    Speaking on the Eye on Port program on Infrastructural Developments at the Port of Takoradi, the Group CEO of IBISTEK, disclosed that progress at its infrastrure projects were hindered by COVID-19 restrictions, however, his outfit is more focused to get all its projects underway to meet all expected timelines.

    “The contractors were struggling to bring in their divers. Because it was time for them to start placing the quay wall blocks under the sea. It is -18.5 meters deep so they need certified experts. Because of the COVID period, that affected the projects for about 5 weeks,” Dr. Sackey disclosed.

    He added that, “in terms of the oil jetty, the subcontractors that we will use for the installation of the loading arms, because of the airport closure, they could not come in, but wait till the airports are opened.”

    According to him, the Atlantic Multipurpose Project which would cost a combined total of USD 375 million for two phases, would give the Port of Takoradi a major facelift in its developmental agenda.

    He said the Atlantic Multipurpose Terminal, when completed would cover about 62 hectares of operational space, witsh phase 1 consisting of 600m quay length and -16 chart datum, enabling the terminal to handle the largest vessels in the world as well as large volumes of import cargo.

    Dr. Felix Nana Sackey added that the 26-hectare, and USD 70 Million-worth TACOTEL, an inland container depot, 6mins drive from the Port of Takoradi, was also built by IBISTEK, and strategically positioned to accommodate the growing volumes of cargo and even much more after the completion of expansion works inside the Port of Takoradi.

    He added that, the ICD came in to solve the problem of inadequate space for containerized cargo in the main harbour basin, for which cargo owners had lamented over the years.

    Dr. Felix Nana Sackey said the Port of Takoradi’s efficiency and capacity has even more been strengthened with the completion of the IBISTEK-powered new liquid bulk terminal, where he encouraged more companies dealing in oil to establish their tank farms in the Port of Takoradi to experience the full benefits of the new automated port infrastructure at that port.

    “The oil jetty is huge, with five loading arms, for petrol, diesel, heavy fuel, bitumen, and gas. The challenge with Takoradi is, there are very few tank farms there so it is an opportunity for other investors to also tap into it and construct their tank farms because the jetty is there to pump the material for them,” he advised.

    He said the company, because of its indigenous roots, is also very keen on promoting local capacity, hence, ensures local participation, where available, in majority of works at its project sites.

    The Group Chief Executive of IBISTEK also highlighted that, even with the obstacles that may be encountered by such an ambitious local company competing with multinational heavy-weights, it is the ingenuity and integrity IBISTEK demonstrates that helps the company gain favour with its financial partners. Dr. Sackey said the IBISTEK Group is very motivated to plug in some of the needs of the Port of Takoradi to help the Port Authority achieve its vision of making Ghana’s premier port a first class port and a dominant oil and gas services hub in the sub-region.

    The IBISTEK Group CEO, however, appealed to government to continue in its drive to invest in intermodal transport networks including road and rail connectivity so that efficiency can be achieved throughout the entire supply chain.

    “In terms of the ancillaries, once we want to target the landlocked countries, we need to improve the facilitation of their goods from the port by road and rail,” he said.


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  • September 17,2020

    Management of the Port of Takoradi is inviting economic operators, and the trading public both in Ghana and across the neighbouring transit nations to come and experience the world class and efficient services that are being offered at the Port of Takoradi as a result of the massive investments in state-of-the-art infrastructural developments that are currently ongoing at the Port of Takoradi.

    Speaking on Eye on Port, the Human Resource Manager at the Port of Takoradi, Mr. Peter Amo Bediako revealed that efficiency at the Port of Takoradi has been significantly amplified by major developmental projects some of which have already been completed while others are ongoing at the Port.

    The HR Manager at the Port of Takoradi who until recently was in charge of Marketing and Public Affairs of the Port of Takoradi seized the opportunity to call on both local and international private investors who are looking to venture into port infrastructural development to approach the leadership of the Port Authority and establish a mutually beneficial arrangement for that purpose.

    “All you need to do is write the proposal to the Director General of GPHA, then you would be called to demonstrate your strength,” he said.

    He revealed that the successful partnership between Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and companies like GOIL, and the IbisTek Group is a demonstration of the seriousness the Port Authority attaches to its vision of building a strong infrastructural base to serve as a foundation for the nation’s industrial and economic development.

    Mr. Peter Amo-Bediako, also revealed that the Port of Takoradi is also encouraging greater participation of local companies in the Oil and Gas sector as part of its vision of being a first class port and a dominant oil and gas hub in the sub region.

    “We have given Baj Freight, a local indigenous company, for example, a space of 31,000 square meters, and they have a quay side area, and that is used to solely support the ENI project. Inside the port, they have a warehouse facility that is used to support the oil and gas industry,” he cited.

    He said the Port of Takoradi is committed to being the strategic support base for the oil and gas industry, hence, venturing into developmental projects that complements the Oil and Gas Industry.

    “We wanted to meet the needs of traditional cargo that we had, vis-a-vis that of the oil industry, which is new. Congestion was coming into the port. Demurrage for oil vessels for example is 25,000 dollars per day, and a rig, minimum 1 million dollars per day. The oil majors also would factor it in the cost of production and subtract it from Ghana’s share. So at the port level, if we are able to reduce the waiting time, we will save a lot of money and it will positively affect our share of the oil revenue,” he elaborated.

    Speaking on the same program, the Group Chief Executive Officer of IbisTek Group of Companies, Dr. Felix Nana Sackey, also called on both the Ghanaian and Transit economic operators to patronise the Port of Takoradi as they are guaranteed 12 hrs or less time in the clearance of goods through the new inland depot, TACOTEL.

    “Currently, a lot more people are using Takoradi for importation of vehicles and TACOTEL’s systems are set up in such a way that within 12hrs you can clear your goods from TACOTEL. So it is something that everyone should start considering,” he revealed.

    He said the Port of Takoradi’s efficiency and capacity has even more been strengthened with the completion of the IBISTEK-powered new liquid bulk terminal, where he encouraged more companies dealing in oil to establish their tank farms in the Port of Takoradi to experience the full benefits of the new automated port infrastructure at that port.

    Mr. Peter Amo Bediako, the HR Manager at the Port of Takoradi, stressed that several critical developmental projects have been put in place to encourage and grow the Transit Trade.

    He said the rehabilitated bulk jetty at the Port of Takoradi is the deepest of its kind in West Africa, and has augmented the turnaround time of vessels, placing the Port at a relatively higher competitive advantage for business.

    “The new bulk jetty that has been created for instance is -16 and 800m, the maximum length of ships that used to come to there was about 180 metres. Now we are positioning the port to be able to handle 250-meter vessels. Now they can load from 100,000 – 120, 000 metric tonnes of cargo,” Mr. Amo Bediako disclosed.

    The Human Resource Manager of the Port of Takoradi also revealed that due to the high security at the Port, ship to ship transfer of cargo is a regular practice at the Port’s anchorage, a development that is rare in neighbouring Ports.

    “There is no port in the sub region that you can do an STS operation at the anchorage. If you come to the Port of Takoradi now, about 4 nautical miles away from the port, this is ongoing there with manganese.”

    Mr. Amo-Bediako said, the Port of Takoradi’s vision for development has been given a major boost after the President signed an executive instrument designating further 10km expansion of the Port, which is being considered to be developed into a petrochemical enclave.


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  • September 09,2020

    Trade practitioners are calling for expedited processes by government towards the safe easing of restrictions on land borders in order to facilitate trade across the country’s borders.

    Speaking on the Eye on Port program on the Impact of the Reopening of the Airport to passengers on Land and Sea Trade, the Executive Secretary of the Committee of Freight Forwarder Associations, and the Chairman of Customs Brokers Association of Ghana at the Kotoka International Airport, Nana Fredua Ofori-Atta, proposed the setting up of a joint border committee to handle the task of reopening of the borders to passengers.

    He explained that many depend on the cross border trade as a source of livelihood and therefore all efforts should be made to ensure they are reopened early enough without compromising and relaxing the COVID-19 protocols.

    “We have to consider opening the borders because we have to know that some of the businesses do intra-West African trade and they are not headload people. They have their trucks crossing. So we can consider a partial phase by phase approach to reopening the borders,” he proposed.

    The President of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, Ghana, Ebo Hammond, on the same program, however, expressed the difficulty expected in the efforts to put the required COVID-19 protocols in place, due to the porousness of the country’s land borders.

    He urged that a possible subsidized scheme of testing and screening passengers be put in place at the land borders compared to the situation at the airports.

    “When the land border is opened, definitely the cost of abiding by the COVID-19 protocols may have to be relooked. Otherwise it will make travel by land very expensive,” he argued.

    Mr. Hammond explained that such discriminatory approach is in order because of the frequency traders especially the ones referred to as headload carriers, trade across the land borders.

    The National President for Borderless Alliance, a regional trade advocacy group, Ziad Hamoui who also contributed to the program, called on security agencies to assess whether the risk associated with cross border trade is higher which will inform the nature of restrictions to be imposed at the country’s land borders. 

     “Headload carriers usually operate within a relatively narrow geographic area, meaning they should be considered low risk, as long as they only operate within their communities. I think the case is worth investigating further with security agencies and immigration,” Mr. Hamoui opined.


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  • September 09,2020

    The general public is being advised to be cautiously optimistic regarding the immediate positive outlook expected from the reopening of the airport to human traffic on the national economy.

    Speaking on the Eye on Port program on the Impact of the Reopening of the Airport on Land and Sea Trade, the CILT President, explained that a lot would have to take place for the aviation industry to hit full momentum before trickling down to the national economy.

    “When we start we are going to go slowly and that gradually Ghana will get its cut from the global aviation economy,” Mr. Hammond opined.

    “We must really tipper our hopes in terms of the fact that business may not kick very fast,” he added.

    Ebo Hammond, who is also a Director at the Ghana Health Service and a member of the Ministry of Transport's Advisory Board charged the responsible agencies in government to investigate, assess and present a comprehensive report on the losses from the shutdown of the airport from passenger travel, as well as the direction for recovery.

    “It is also very important that the Aviation sector and also Ministry of Finance, and others work out something for us to really know where we have come from and what we have lost, especially now that we have reopened. What’s the gap we have to fill and what to do to go back,” he explained.

    He recounted the losses the aviation industry had incurred globally due to the shutdown of business for airlines following restrictions on human movement.

    “When we say shutdown of the aviation industry, it does not only mean planes are not flying but also the taxes and fees that can be generated from those activities are also virtually brought down to a negligible level,” the CILT President described.

    He further disclosed that “overall, in the international aviation travels, KPMG envisaged that when we lock down, annually we can lose about 250 billion dollars globally.”

    The trade and logistics expert also acknowledged the economic significance the reopening of the airports would present to many sub-sectors within the supply chain of the aviation industry.

    The Executive Secretary of the Committee of Freight Forwarder Associations, and the Chairman of Customs Brokers Association of Ghana at the Kotoka International Airport, Nana Fredua Ofori-Atta, on the same program, also recounted the challenges local traders faced as a result of the ban on international travels.

    He revealed that passenger travel guarantees about 90% of imports through the airport.

    He further explained that because the country is heavily dependent on imports, and with very low export and passenger volumes during the partial shutdown, some airlines did not find Ghana as a favourable destination.

    “Because we do not export much, the freighters do not see our destination as a good one, because they virtually return empty.”

    The Chairman of CUBAG at KIA, identified the reopening of the airport to human traffic as timely as it coincides with the pre-Christmas peak season for international trade.

    He empathized with local traders who have been financially constricted by the travel embargoes as it may significantly hamper their capacity to invest.

    “Can you imagine? Almost (six) 6 months of lockdown, it is very sad. Majority of them have lost their capital,” he bemoaned.

    Nana Ofori-Atta also revealed that factories overseas, especially the Far East, where Ghanaians trade, may also take time to gradually reach the production levels traders are ordinarily used to during this peak season of trade, hence the need to be patient.

    He again complained about the hardships freight forwarding companies encountered during the COVID-19 restrictions at the airport and appealed to government to come to the aid of their members with some stimulus relief to alleviate their hardship.

    “Most of the custom house operators in the airport are private organisations, they have also suffered almost similar consequences and nobody is coming to our rescue to say there is a package for us,” the CUBAG president appealed.


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