Senior Police Officers in the Upper East Region have been urged to upgrade their level of professionalism to boost transit trade activities on the nation’s trade routes.
This came up during a sensitization seminar organised by the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) in Bolgatanga on transit trade through Ghana’s major transit corridors.
The Authority said it had observed that the nation could be recording higher transit trade figures if police officers deal with transit truck drivers more professionally.
It is estimated that transit trade contributes over 134 million cedis to Ghana’s economy.
Opening the seminar, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority, Ms. Benonita Bismarck, in a speech read on her behalf, underscored the importance of the seminars on transit trade for Police Officers with the objective of promoting transit trade through Ghana’s corridors.
She lauded the Ghana Police Service for its role in securing the transit corridors of Ghana. She also commended the commitment of the Ghana Police Administration, headed by the IGP, Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, for the continuous collaboration between the GSA and the Police Administration to open up the nation’s transit corridors to transit shippers of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.
She however noted that there were some challenges faced by transit shippers, transporters and livestock traders along the major transit corridors of Ghana due to the multiple police checkpoints, delays, and associated harassments of truck drivers.
She called on the Police Officers deployed along the corridor to ensure professionalism in their interactions with truck drivers to avoid delays and harassment which adds to the cost of shipments.
She noted that the Police have an important role in facilitating transit trade for the benefit of the economy and for socio-economic development.
Addressing the seminar, the Deputy Regional Police commander for the Upper East, DCOP Alexander Afenyo, commended the Ghana Shippers’ Authority for organizing the workshop to sensitize police officers on transit trade along Ghana’s transit corridors.
He emphasized the crucial role the Police play in securing the major transport corridors of the country and especially the safety of transit along the Tema-Paga transit corridor. He called on stakeholders such as the Customs Division of the GRA, Transporters, Truck drivers to cooperate with the Police in the enforcement of Road Traffic Regulations.
The sensitization seminar took place on 30th November and forms part of the series of similar seminars organised for Police Officers in the Ashanti, Bono, Bono East and Northern Regions of Ghana.
He noted that the IGP, Dr. George Akuffo Dampare was very particular about the professionalism of the Police force and urged all officers deployed along the major transit corridors to ensure professionalism and avoid acts that will undermine the image of the Police Service. He appealed to the Ghana Shippers’ Authority to sensitize transit truck drivers to obey road traffic regulations and help the Police promote trade facilitation along our major transit corridors.
Supt. Dr. Sasu Mensah, Director of Operations, Ghana Police Service MTTD, who served as one of the Resource persons at the Seminar emphasized the need for Police Officers to facilitate transit trade and ensure transit trucks are not unduly delayed.
He cited the incidence whereby some Police officers get into a confrontation with transit truck drivers which was affecting the perception of police harassment. He called on MTTD Officers deployed along the corridor to show professionalism in the enforcement of road traffic regulations. His presentation was titled, “The Role of the Police in facilitating transit trade”.
The Principal Freight and Logistics Officer, Mr. Abdul Haki Bashiru-Dine, also took participants through the contribution of the transit trade to the economy of Ghana. In his presentation, he outlined the legal obligations on Ghana to facilitate transit trade through its corridors under international law, the benefits of transit trade to the port and national economy, an overview of the challenges faced by transit shippers along Ghana’s transit corridors, the way forward to overcome the challenges.
In all, 38 Senior Officers took part in the seminar.