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GPHA In A Closer Perspective (1)   
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The appointment of a Director-General of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority collectively is likely to connote in the minds of many a Ghanaian, a powerful gerent who oversees to, and supervises all operations, functions, and activities of not only the sea ports, but also the airports as well as the goods entry boarder points around Ghana.

This perceived vastness of the duties and responsibilities of the Director General of GPHA within the ports communities has created an erroneous impression that makes any appointed GPHA boss the most coveted; literally supervising over a gold mining cave within Ghana’s economy pot.

The imagined prestige in accompaniment that GPHA trails along with might be the reason why most people want to work at the Tema or Takoradi ports, and apparently GPHA. Yet, true as it may be for any GPHA boss as imagined, much depends on the mindset, the upbringing, the sense of dedication and commitment of the individual who gets appointed to this prestigious position.

A closer look at Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority however evokes several limitations as separate segmented compartments within the purview of the vastness of the Ports and Harbours authority, and this is where Mr Paul Ansah presides over as landlord, and only in just one segment, yet with a colossal title as Director General of GPHA, with two assisting Directors, one at Tema and another at Takoradi harbour, minus the airports and the various cross-border entry ports.

The fact is that, within the vastness of the ports community, there exists other interests such as Customs & Excise under the GRA, with its own independent appointed boss, there is Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) under the ministry of finance, there is also National Security, and many more, ensconced on a piece of land where Mr Paul Ansah is the landlord with no oversight authority or responsibility over his tenants in what they do, and how it is done. All what is needed between landlord and tenants is co-operation.   

In a chat with the Director General, he confidently explains that his operational areas in the community called GPHA within the two harbours are interactions with ship owners or their representatives, interactions with shipping lines, stevedoring companies, shipping and clearing agents, also known as freight forwarders, importers and exporters, and haulage companies.

Mr Ansah, who has been an officer at the ports and harbours authority for 23 years, and risen through the ranks until his appointment as Director General, further explains that his outfit’s business responsibilities with the above-mentioned members of the port communities, is to collect revenue from them, organise port infrastructure to create room and comfort for his tenants and visitors.

With all these explanations regarding GPHA’s operational parameters, there is a continuum of pressing concretions within the functions and activities of the Ghana Ports Authority that need to be found out for an intrusive surgery to be performed to remove them.

These chafing nodules hiding within the body of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority are the disturbing factors that have occasioned visits by both the vice-President, and the Senior minister to ascertain for themselves what gremlin exists at the ports, and for which Mr Paul Ansah has provided a very reassuring answer that can remedy all negative perceptions, both real and imagined within his area of operations.

Mr Ansah is beset with problems and challenges that he is confident to surmount, as well as rectifying remedies, all of which will appear in the sequels to this script. With his enormous experience acquired through many years of working at the ports, every challenge can be trampled upon, and it important the issues are segregated for the general public to know his jurisdictional confinement.
Source: Patrick Mobila/email: [email protected]

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