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New Ports Board To Reduce US$400M Demurrage Cost   
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Well over US$400 million is lost to ships annually through demurrages at the country’s ports. This has been described by the vice president, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia as a punitive and inefficiency cost to the country.

There are other inefficiency and nuisance costs, including those used in facilitating clearance through the Regulatory agencies and GRA Customs itself. These are said to contribute greatly to the high cost of goods and services in the country, which renders the ports uncompetitive and leads to high dissatisfaction among port clients.

Therefore a new board that has been reconstituted, by the Ministry of Transport for the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, has been tasked to ensure that this deadline is met and the ports are made profitable and viable.

Chairman of the reconstituted board, Peter Mac Manu, speaking to Goldstreet Business said the new GPHA board is poised to make the ports more attractive. He said the team will strive to initiate policies and programmes that will reduce turnaround time of vessels, speed-up cargo clearing and ensure a paperless system in sync with the Vice President’s policy directives.

“I am happy the ports environment has embraced change and is ready to work to ensure that the turnaround time for instance is improved to make clients happy.

“Demurrage is cost to the economy. In fact on the average, over US$400 million are lost to the ships through demurrage annually, something that can stay in the economy to make the GDP rise and business grow. So if we are able to reduce time it takes to clear goods at the port for example, it is money that we are saving. And it is the process that has to be shortened. Like the Vice President said, now inspection is going to be simultaneous to avoid waste of time,” Mac Manu said.

He disclosed there are various programmes and actions currently taking place between now and September, so that by the set time all stakeholders including the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, and Customs among other stakeholders will be ready to implement the policy.

“The policy programme is ongoing. Already there is a process in motion and we are going to deepen it so that by September we will be able to achieve the task that the Vice President has given us. The paperless transaction will eliminate the human touch where the bribery and money changing hands come in so it’s a good policy that has been initiated. We on the board are going to embrace it and ensure that our management implements it to the fore,” he said.

The Vice President has given a three policy reforms at the port, including a joint inspection, 100 percent paperless transaction at all ports, and the removal of all customs and excise preventive services ‘road barriers.

The new board has therefore promised to lead the GPHA with an exemplary set of leadership skills to position GHPA as a center of logistics excellence; efficienct, customer friendly and profit oriented.

Source: Goldstreet Business

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