Takoradi, May 24, GNA- The Takoradi Port recorded 32,367 metric tonnes of cargo between January and March this year, as against 33,981 metric tonnes during the same period in 2003.
This represents a shortfall of 4.74 per cent.
Mr. Nestor Galley, Director of the Takoradi Port, disclosed this at the sod cutting for the construction of three new warehouses valued at 28.8 billion cedis at the Takoradi Port on Monday.
He said the shortfall was due to the unavailability of transit sheds and warehouses within the Shama Ahanta East Metropolitan area. Mr. Galley said the Takoradi Port has for time, diverted some vessels carrying transit cargo to other ports due to the limited warehousing and transit sheds.
He said the new transit shed would have a capacity of 40,000 metric tonnes and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) would finance the project, which would be completed in eight months time.
Mr. Galley said though some private warehouses had assisted the Port, the storage facilities are inadequate.
He said the transit sheds would go a long way to benefit the GPHA and the Ghana Railway Company (GRC), since "most of the goods would soon be transported by rail".
Papa Owusu Ankomah, Member of Parliament for Sekondi and Minister of Justice and Attorney General, said the construction of additional sheds, would go a long way to benefit landlocked countries in other parts of Africa.
He, therefore, urged them to mobilise more trucks and make the necessary arrangements with their partners, customers and the immigration, to ensure that their goods do not stay long too long in the sheds.
"When the goods are quickly conveyed to their respective destinations, there would be no congestion and the facilities will be available to serve other importers" Papa Ankomah added.
He assured importers that the government is concerned about their plight and would soon introduce measures to give the Takoradi Port special attention.
Papa Ankomah called on workers and clearing agents to desist from unnecessary delays adding, "business needs results and immediate action".
"Give customers satisfaction and be prompt in responding to their requests," he added.
Papa Ankomah said the Ghana Shippers Council and two other investors, had presented plans to government for construction of warehouse, hostel and parking bays for haulage trucks. Mr. Joseph B. Aidoo, Western Regional Minister said the Takoradi Port would be vibrant by the end of 2004.
He said goods imported would, however, be monitored to ensure that goods and drugs meet specifications adding, "most goods brought into the country are not properly screened.
Mr. Aidoo called on investors to go into construction of warehouses within the metropolis, to enable the Takoradi Port to handle large volume of cargo. 24 May 04