Shippers Authority needs more legal mandate

Tema- The Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA) says it needed to be clothed with adequate legal mandate which will empower its officials to implement some needed interventions in the industry.

Mrs Monica Josiah, Branch Manager of GSA-Tema Region, in an interaction with the media, said inadequate legal mandate was one of the challenges preventing the Authority from fully following some shippers’ concerns to the latter.

Mrs Josiah said the law that established the GSA does not allow officials to go beyond a certain range and that their mandate has limitations.

She therefore called for the review of the legal framework of the GSA to empower them to properly discharge their duties to shippers.

The GSA is a public service agency under the Ministry of Transport with a mission to effectively and efficiently protect and promote the interests of shippers in Ghana’s commercial shipping sector in relations to international trade and transport logistics.

Touching on the Nigeria border closure issue, she said her outfit has received a number of reports from the transit truck drivers that they were stranded at the border and their food products were getting spoilt.

She advised shippers to engage the GSA on their concerns instead of the apathy towards the authority and its officials with the erroneous understanding their clearing agents could handle all their problems for them.

She said it would be advantageous for shippers to also acquire knowledge about the industry to enable them to make meaningful inputs into things that affects them.

Mrs Josiah said the media encounter was initiated in 2018 by the outfit to build rapport and exchange ideas with journalists in the sector since the role of the media in the GSA achieving its vision and mission cannot be over-emphasised.

Mr Fred Atogiyire, GSA Head of Public Relations commended the media for the cordial relationship over the years and said that annual seminars would continuously be held to ensure that journalists were sensitized on the operations of the sector to enable them report accurately on shipping issues.

Ms Pamela Deh-Frimpong, GSA’s Shipper Services and Trade Facilitation Official giving a presentation on the overview of the role of the Authority and said the name of the company was changed from Ghana Shipper’s Council to its current name in 1998.

She said her outfit had established an Import/Export Shippers Committees across the country with representatives of all stakeholders to provide a platform for the addressing issues facing shippers.

She said they had also established shippers’ complaints units at all the entry points of the country as well as transit committees to facilitate transit trade.

According to her the GSA also conducts research on emerging issues in the Ghana’s trade and shipping industry adding that they also do negotiate and monitor the implementation of freight import charges.

Ms Deh-Frimpong said apart from the inadequate legal mandate, they are faced with other challenges including inadequate funds to implement projects and duplicated cost of doing business being another issue that needed to be addressed in the industry.

Source: Ghana News Agency