Following incessant reports of alleged harassment and extortion by members of the Ghana Police Service on transit truck drivers along the transit corridors of Ghana, the Representative of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority to the Sahelian Regions, David Songotu, has led a GPHA team to investigate situations on the grounds, as well as find solutions to them.
The road trip was across the Northern regions of the country particularly the Upper West Region and the Upper East Region.
The GPHA team also interacted with drivers across the corridor to ascertain their specific challenges pertaining to the trade across the Ghanaian corridor.
The team engaged some police officers at the various checkpoints to sensitize them on the need for them to facilitate the movement of the transit trucks instead of harassing them.
David Songotu, the GPHA representative to Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger said the economic operators in especially Mali and Burkina Faso have complained repeatedly of police officers extorting amounts as high as 10 cedis per checkpoint from drivers carrying cargo cleared from Ghana’s ports to the Sahelian countries.
According to him, these add up to create a bad impression that the Ghanaian corridor is expensive, and this is unfortunate as Ghana’s Port Authority has ensured to provide incentives that would woo importers and exporters from the landlocked countries to use Ghana’s ports.
“They discourage the drivers on the road, by collecting little monies they work hard for especially after Techiman, which add up to say Ghana’s corridor is expensive compared to other corridors.”
He said it is rather unfortunate that these alleged unprofessional members of the police service, do not recognise the importance the transit business has on Ghana’s economic development.
“If collective responsibilities are done and everyone says they will make sure they contribute to the development of transit trade in Ghana, there is huge millions of money through the transit trade,” he expressed.
David Songotu assured the transit truck drivers of GPHA’s commitment to curbing the ongoing injustice.
He advocated for an increased sensitization of the police service as well as other relevant stakeholders so as to put an end to the harassment and extortion of transit truck drivers on the transit corridors of Ghana.