Help mobilse requisite revenue for Ghana’s transformation – Minister

Accra- Mr Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover, the Deputy Minister of Transport has called on all stakeholders in the shipping industry to help mobilse the requisite revenue for the country to enhance her development efforts.

He said to ensure port efficiency, there was the need to allow tracking devices and other efficient administrative systems to operate in order to avert diversion of containers and evasion of duties.

Mr Titus-Glover gave the advice at the Sixth Maritime Seminar for Journalists and was jointly organised by the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) in Accra on Tuesday.

The event was held on theme: Contemporary trends and developments in Ghana’s Shipping Industry.

Topics treated were The implementation of paperless transaction in Ghana: An impact assessment on cargo clearance at the ports, The effects of demurrage on the cost of doing business at the port, Improving trade facilitation via port expansion and port efficiency and Transit trade through Ghana’s corridor-implication for the economy.

The seminar brought together media practitioners, representatives from the Custom Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Ghana Shippers Authority and Ghana Maritime Authority.

Mr Titus-Glover advised importers to disclose and pay the right amount of duties to avoid paying multiple penalties.

He cautioned that he would not shield importers who would be caught up in fraudulent dealings but would allow the law to take its cause.

Ms Benonita Bismarck, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GSA disclosed that the payment of demurrage (penalty) at the port had decreased by 17.5 percent from USD100 million in 2016 to USD76 million in 2017 due to education.

Again, in the first half of this year, the Authority recorded total payments of about USD28.5 million, a reduction of about 21 percent compared to payments recorded for the same period in 2017, she added.

Seminars like this would not only whip up the interest of media personnel in shipping and trade but also to help educate stakeholders in shipping.

The CEO hinted that the Authority would soon launch the ShippersApp, a platform on which to access information (on ports, vessels arrivals, maritime statistics, contacts and locations of shipping lines, agencies and others) and make complaints on the cell phone irrespective of one’s location.

Mr Kwesi Kumah, Assistant Revenue Officer, GRA Customs Division said lack of quality computer tablets, poor internet facility and low level knowledge of the paperless system on the part of stakeholders were delaying clearance.

Mr Affail Monney, President of GJA said that though the media had been contributing to the economic strides of the country, Ghana, with all its resources was not realising its Beyond Aid Dream.

Thus, as an indispensable body in development, there is the need for its personnel to sharpen their skills to scale-up in the transformation drive.

He encouraged journalists to upgrade themselves and also specialise to avoid mediocracy in their work. GJA would continuously help build capacity of both its members and non-members as such, a Memorandum of Understanding had been signed with institutions such as the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) to achieve that, which will lead to specialisation among who are economy, environment and Agriculture, making them marketable.

Source: Ghana News Agency