09.03.2005 General News

Ghanaian haulage drivers still in distress in Niger

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Tema, March 09, GNA - Niger authorities have still not allowed 72 haulage drivers to discharge sulphur loaded in Ghanaian trucks from the Tema port meant for the landlocked country.

Alhaji Maidaji, a Nigerien and the owner of the sulphur, said the laws of Niger do not permit goods like sulphur to be brought into the country in foreign vehicles.

Therefore, sulphur the drivers loaded since the middle of February, have not been offloaded and remain in the trucks at Korni, Dosso, Niamey and Makolondi.

Mr Adamu Yussif Danjumah, chairman of the General Haulers and Transport Association of Ghana (GHATAG) told the GNA that a delegation from Ghana held talks with the Niger authorities but there was a deadlock.

The Ghanaian delegation was made up of representatives from the GHATAG, Ministry of Ports, Harbours and Railways, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Ghana Shippers Council and Freight Forwarders. He said the original agreement between the owner of the goods and the drivers was that the sulphur be discharged at Dosso but the Nigerien Minister of the Interior; some soldiers and police personnel ordered them to continue with their journey to Libya.

When the drivers objected they were beaten and some abandoned their goods and escaped through unapproved routes to Niamey. Mr Danjumah expressed gratitude to the government for responding promptly to their call by sending a delegation to Niger and expressed the hope that a solution, agreeable to the two countries, would be found.

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