Economic operators in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, have lauded the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority for the efficiency at its ports.
The businesses said the Ports of Ghana are the best in the subregion when it comes to reliability and connectivity.
The businesses disclosed this when a high-powered delegation from the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, led by a Board Member of GPHA, who is the President of Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Clement Osei Amoako, paid a working visit to some economic operators in Ouagadougou.
Some of the businesses visited include Hajjar Rimon, Burkina Faso Chamber of Commerce, Burkina Shippers’ Council, UCRB, AGL, Sitaci, Bisa Gold, Futrb, Groupe Hage, Cimaf, Kanis, and freight forwarders, among others.
Despite commending Ghana’s ports for their efficient service delivery, the businesses outlined a number of challenges the port authority should avert its attention to.
These include alleged police harassment on Ghana’s corridor, unlawful auction of transit goods, payment of covid levy, fluctuation in the exchange rate between the cedi and CFA, and VAT on transit.
The Director General of GPHA, Michael Luguje, the Commissioner of Customs, Alhaji Seidu Iddrisu Iddissah, and the Commissioner of Police in charge of General Services responded to the issues raised.
The GPHA boss said one of the challenges faced is that “most importers trust their freight forwarders completely, and once the freight forwarder says something has happened in Ghana’s corridor, they take it and not try to verify from the Port Authority. Knowing this, we have an office in Burkina Faso and our marketing section. You can send an email or call, and we will verify all issues for you."
The delegation also met the Minister of Transport, Urban Mobility, and Road Safety of Burkina Faso, where issues of mutual interest were discussed.
After the successful 5-day trade mission, some members of the delegation shared their impressions on the engagement with the economic operators.
The Commissioner of Police, General Services, Mr. Enoch Bediako indicated that “the checkpoints are not there because of trucks bound for Burkina Faso but a strategy being used by the police to combat armed robbery on our highways. However, we will take measures to educate our boys on the road to refrain from harassment leading to extortion. We are asking the transitors to help report such policemen so we can take disciplinary action.”
The Commissioner of Customs, Alhaji Seidu Iddrisu Iddisah, added that “we are planning for next year’s budget, and we believe that some feedback that is common with our own local traders in Ghana such as the Covid levy, will be taken into consideration.”
The Director of Port, Tema, Sandra Opoku also added that GPHA will continuously evaluate areas where cost could be cut down to maintain transit customers and attract more.
Similarly, the Acting Director of Port, Takoradi, Peter Amo Bediako, assured that “we are going to sit down with our stakeholders to ensure that we can position ourselves favorably. Already, we have some private warehouses in the Metropolis, so we will talk to them to see how best we can provide attractive rates.”