The Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) has held a day’s sensitisation workshop for Haulage Truck Drivers and owners operating transit trade across the corridors of Ghana at Tema in the Greater Accra Region.
The day’s sensitisation workshop for the Haulage Truck Drivers was to ensure that they are abreast with the country’s road safety regulations and other rules to ensure compliance.
The drivers were taken topics like the Road Safety Regulations for Haulage Truck along Ghana’s major transit corridors, the risk factors and the precautionary measures to be adopted by haulage trucks drivers in the transportation of Dangerous Goods along our transit corridors, and the haulage truck driver’s role in avoiding unnecessary costs in the shipment of transit cargo through Ghana’s ports.
In a speech read on her behalf by the Head of Freight, GSA, Mr. Fred Asiedu Datey at the opening ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GSA, Ms. Benonita Bismarck hinted that her outfit in collaboration with other stakeholders of the trade and transport industry has made significant strides in finding solutions to challenges facing the sector.
According to her GSA and its partners are working around the clock to ensure that fashion out world-best practices to the shipping industry of Ghana, to make it very efficient and competitive across the sub-region.t, has come with tangible economic
“Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, in compliance with international agreements, protocols, conventions, and other accords, Ghana has offered its territory as a corridor for its landlocked neighbours to transit their goods to and from these countries. This gesture, no doubt, has come with tangible economic benefits to the state.
Conservative estimates point to annual revenue of over aGhc134 million. It is in the light of this that we call on all stakeholders to commit to facilitating the transit trade, with the view of ensuring that Ghana’s corridor remains one of the most attractive in the sub-region.” She intimated.
The CEO of GSA admitted that there are some fundamental issues affecting transit trade that require all
stakeholders’ undivided attention. Saying the one-day sensitisation workshop in addition to the usual Road Safety issues will also address the carriage of hazardous/dangerous cargo and the need to avoid unnecessary costs in the shipment process.
Ms. Bismarck explained further that dangerous goods (acids, fertilizers, chemical products, petroleum products, explosives, gaseous substances, etc.) pose risks to human safety, property, and the environment if accidentally released during transportation in commerce. It is therefore important that beyond government efforts at regulating the transportation of hazardous cargo, regular sensitisation of key stakeholders of this nature, are conducted to serve as risk prevention and mitigation measure.
The CEO announced that GSA since 2018 has been undertaking quarterly fact-finding missions along the major transit corridors in the country and its findings have unearthed very serious infractions such as Road Traffic Regulations, Police Harassment, malpractices at Axle Load Stations among others.
“The outcome of the latest fact-finding trip undertaken from May 24-28, 2021 on the Tema-Hamile corridor recorded the following: 55 police and MTTD stops (40 permanent barriers and 15 temporary barriers), two (2) Forestry Commission posts, nine (9) Customs checkpoints, three (3) Immigration checkpoints, and four (4) Axle Load stations – Tema motorway, Akom, a mobile axle weighbridge at Doboro, and Sawla.” She revealed.
The GSA CEO told the drivers that the current Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. James Oppong-Boanuh has shown personal commitment to removing trade barriers along Ghana’s Transit Corridors.
She also informed the gathering GSA in collaboration with the Ghana Highways Authority has developed an Axle Load Protocol which is a step-by-step process of what to do once a haulage truck driver gets to any Axle Station.
The Axle Load Protocol (document) which is written in both English and French, Ms. Bismarck explained will be posted at each Axle Load Station to help clarity requirements at these stations to mitigate abuse of truck drivers.
Meanwhile, the General Manager – Marketing and Corporate Affairs at the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Mrs. Esther Gyebi Donkoh, who chaired the occasion commended the organisers for organizing the sensitisation workshop for the truck drivers.
According to her the role of the haulage transport sector in driving the transit trade across the corridors of Ghana cannot be overemphasized. Saying one of the key performance indicators of an efficient transit logistic value chain is transportation. To this end, we all must work to ensure efficiency and safety in the haulage transport sector within the operations of transit trade in our maritime economy.
The topics are very important because they are issues that are very critical to ensuring Ghana benefits from its international trade practices in the transit logistics value chain. She noted.
The GPHA GM – Marketing and Corporate Affairs, also confirmed that some officials enforcing road safety and other regulations oftentimes take undue advantage of minor omissions committed by drivers and exact very harsh treatments to drivers thus rendering Ghana’s corridors unattractive.
This development must stop if Ghana is to fully achieve its objectives as a gateway to the sub-region. She opined.
Mrs. Gyebi Donkoh, used the opportunity to urged Haulage Truck Drivers to ensure that they are abreast with the road safety regulations and other laws and in doing so ensure compliance.
She disclosed that her outfit in partnership with other stakeholders including the Joint Association of Port Transport Union (JAPTU) has embarked on a trade mission to the country’s landlocked neighbours of Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali to market the ports as a preferred destination to transit cargo.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH