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06.02.2006 General News

GPHA and CEPS in a near clash


Tema, Feb. 06, GNA -- The decision by the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) not to allow categories of port stakeholders to enter the Tema port with their vehicles nearly resulted in a clash between GPHA security men and workers of Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) at the main entrance of the port on Monday morning. However, the timely intervention by the top officials and security personnel brought the situation under control and work is has been going on normally.

The Public Affairs Director of the Tema Port, Mrs. Esther Gyebi-Donkor, explained that management of GPHA in a bid to control congestion inside the port took a decision to control vehicular traffic inside.

She said vehicular traffic inside the Port has been a problem for equipment to properly manoeuvre and said some people at times park inside at the operational areas of these equipment.

The GPHA therefore took a decision to allow all cars by stakeholders to park at an area provided at the entrance of the Port, popularly known as 'Nagode Car Park' and on January 19, this year wrote to its stakeholders informing them of their intention.

According to her the decision indicated that only categories of staff, management level of all the stakeholders were permitted to drive their vehicles inside while the rest, including GPHA staff were to park at the Nagode car park, while they go to their operational places by shuttle buses.

According to the Public Affairs Director the decision was to be implemented on February on Wednesday 01, this year but had to postpone it because CEPS resisted.

GPHA however, decided to have it implemented on Monday after various discussions with CEPS but they still resisted vehemently and raised some issues, she added.

She said CEPS raised the fact that some of their officers close very late in the night and could not be sure of the security of their cars if parked outside.

They also had the view that since their Examination Officers do not have a fixed time and venue for their operations it is possible that they could miss the shuttle busses provided inside the Port, she said. Meanwhile, Mr Samuel Yankyera, Assistant Commissioner of Customs in-charge of the Tema Collection Point of CEPS told the GNA on telephone that, "CEPS was not consulted the way we wanted".

He said the GPHA embarked on a "wrong implementation of a good policy" because they could have sought for their inputs rather than giving orders adding that the communication was not adequate.

Mr Yankyera said for instance, CEPS staff who do examination of goods need to be mobile to go about their work to facilitate the clearance of goods because their operational places are far apart.

He however, said the issue is at the discussion level and hoped to arrive at a compromise that would suit all port stakeholders. At the time of filing the report the situation at the port entrance had returned to normalcy.