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Corruption rife on Tema-Ouagadougou trade corridor - LRC   
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Legal Resources Centre (LRC), an NGO on Monday appealed to government to institute measures to curb alleged widespread corruption on the Tema-Ouagadougou trade corridor.

It said "such practices when not checked would undermine the Economic Community of West Africa States' (ECOWAS) objective of promoting free movement of goods and persons within the sub region".

The Tema-Ouagadougou trade corridor connects Ghana's leading dock and industrial centre to Burkina Faso's capital and other commercial routes in West Africa.

Speaking at a stakeholders' forum in Accra, Ms Daphne Lariba Nabila, Programmes Director of Legal, LRC, said Ghana being a member of ECOWAS had signed a protocol to facilitate the free movement of persons within the sub region under the Vienna Convention.

She said findings from a Survey conducted in September 2009 by LRC revealed that drivers, who ply the route paid between two and four Ghana cedis at every checkpoint to security personnel as bribes.

Ms Nabila said some personnel of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) allegedly extorted a minimum of GH¢5.0 from travellers crossing the Ghanaian border.

"In an instance, a traveller with all required documents crossing the Ghana border into Burkina Faso was requested to pay GH¢20 and when he offered to pay GH¢15, he was detained in custody for 45 minutes," she said.

Ms Nabila said the Survey revealed that drivers were mandated to pay CFA 20,000 before they were granted permission into Burkina Faso.

She noted that the number of checkpoints on the route has increased by six per cent with corruption rising to about 24 per cent.

Ms Nabila said "the Survey ranked toll booths and weighing bridge collectors as the most corrupt officials followed by personnel of the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), Ghana Police Service and GIS".

Reacting to the findings of the Survey, Deputy Superintendent Francis Y. Palmdeti, Head of Communications GIS, said Service has been strengthened to deal adequately with reports by victims to inject sanity into their operations.

He said GIS would investigate such allegations and take actions against offending personnel through national, regional and district committees being instituted to deal with such cases.

Deputy Superintendent Palmdeti, urged victims to report such acts to GIS complaints units for prompt action.
Source: GNA

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