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04.04.2007 General News

Shippers Council to construct freight parks

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The Management of Ghana Shippers Council (GSC) is to construct freight parks with basic facilities along the country's major roads to enable haulage drivers have enough rest before continuing their journey.

The parks to be located at Nkwakaw, Techiman, Tamale and Paga would have wash rooms, resting, sleeping and changing places for drivers.

The Chief Executive Officer of GSC, Mr Kofi Mbiah, who announced this at Tema, said this would help address the frequent road accidents in the country.

Mr Mbiah was addressing members of the Eastern Region Shippers Committee of the Council during their first familiarization tour of Tema Port to acquaint themselves with its operations.

The members include importers and exporters from the private sector, small scale entrepreneurs, traditional and non-traditional exporters.

Mr Mbiah noted that most of the road accidents were due to restlessness when the drivers felt sleepy behind the steering wheel due to long distance driving without rest.

He said a study had been instituted on the erection of several police and Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) check points on the roads to facilitate trade within the West African Trade Hub.

Mr Mbiah advised shippers to take advantage of their strategic position within the corridor to transact genuine business by engaging the services of qualified freight forwarders or clearing agents to facilitate trade.

He announced that clearance procedure at the port would be made public soon to eliminate activities of “Goro Boys” who indulged in illegal clearing activities.

Mr Mbiah said the Council had instituted measures to facilitate business at the port and these included the establishment of information centres furnished with computers and urged the members to be computer literate to access their own information.

The Tema Port Coordinator, Mr Samuel Ntow Kumi, said plans were far advanced to submit a Bill to Parliament to empower Terminal Managers to auction cargoes that had overstayed to ease congestion at the port.

He said according to the port law, cargoes that had overstayed after 60 days grace period should be auctioned but some containers of cargoes had overstayed for many years and the law had not been applied on them.

Mr Kumi said personnel of CEPS were supposed to enforce the port law but it was applied only to vehicles that had overstayed and not other cargoes.

The shippers led by port officials toured the Golden Jubilee Container terminal and sheds especially where their goods are discharged and expressed satisfaction with the quality of development at the port.

Source: GNA

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