The Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has stressed that the government will undertake massive reforms at the country’s ports to improve the processes of doing business in Ghana.
According to him, government cannot look on while exporters and importers face long hours of clearing their goods due to duplication of activities and corruption.
Speaking at a forum themed “Ports Efficiency Conference” in Accra, Dr. Bawumia stated that government intends to reduce the turnaround period for vessels from over a hundred 100 hours to the world standard hours.
“The average turnaround time in ports for vessels in Europe is about 25 hours, vessels in East and North Asia is about 17 hours . South Africa is 64 hours and I’m told that the Port of Tema did 103 hours in 2016,” he noted.
“Clearly, we have some long way to go. Our Government would work with the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and other stakeholders towards the realization of the objectives of the Tema and Takoradi port expansion projects as this is in consonance with our rapid industrialization agenda,” he assured.
Dr. Bawumia bemoaned slow pace of the cargo clearance front, calling for an improvement.
On revenue, Dr. Bawumia charged the GRA to improve its revenue collection by blocking the leakages.
“We still have delays in the clearance of goods and the attendant costs such as demurrage and rent. In 2016 shippers (importers) paid an estimated amount of USD100 million in demurrage charges. I am told that the last time a similar estimate was conducted in 2013, the demurrage amount was about USD75 million,” he recalled.
“This is not the kind of revenue we need or want to build this country. It is a punitive cost, an inefficiency cost. It is an avoidable cost, and it only goes to demonstrate that shippers are not releasing containers to the shipping lines in good time,” he noted.
By: Lawrence Segbefia/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana