[ 2012-08-14 ]
Shipping requires serious attention
Ghana urgently requires comprehensive and
pragmatic policies on maritime trade and maritime
transport if it is to achieve competitiveness in
the burgeoning shipping sector, Dr. Kofi Mbiah,
Chief Executive, Ghana Shippers' Authority (GSA)
“While we have seen tremendous growth in maritime
activity over the past decade, the absence of
focused policies is undermining the safe, reliable
and cost effective delivery of cargo,” Mbiah
Statistics from the Ministry of Trade and Industry
show that over 90 percent of Ghana's trade by
volume is maritime based.
Notably too, over 70 percent of government's
internal revenue is sourced from activities in the
“Currently, we experience persistent congestions
at our ports due to a lack of adequate berthing
space in the water, resulting in long queues of
vessels, while on land poor storage and transport
infrastructure compound delays caused by the slow
process of scanning cargo at the ports,” Mbiah
Dr. Mbiah made these observations at the third
annual series of GSA's Maritime Seminar for Media
Practitioners, which aims at updating journalists'
knowledge on contemporary developments in the
country's maritime transport sector and its
structure and dynamics.
Minister of Transport, Alhaji Collins Dauda,
addressing the seminar, noted the importance of
the maritime sub-sector to the country's
socio-economic development, both in terms of trade
volumes and revenue to government and more
especially, as the nascent oil and gas sector is
also maritime based.
“Rising volumes of cargo passing through the ports
and its attendant congestion has contributed to
the proliferation of charges at the ports thereby
considerably increasing the cost of doing
business,” Alhaji Dauda said.
He noted that the country's maritime sector has,
over the last decade, seen a number of
developments including improvement in port
infrastructure, development of off-dock terminals
and storage facilities, the provision of an
electronic platform for the clearance of cargo,
and the commencement of expansion works at the
Takoradi port to support the emerging oil and gas
Available statistics indicate that total cargo
traffic for 2011 amounted to 17.9 million tons,
registering an increase of over 25 percent from
the 2010 figures.
The half year performance for 2012 gives strong
indications of an overall annual cargo traffic
increase in excess of 20 percent over 2011
Alhaji Dauda disclosed that government has
initiated a move with the China Development Bank
(CDB) to source funding for further expansion of
the ports, which would include deepening of the
draughts of the berths, acquisition of tug-boats,
security patrol boats and reach stackers to
improve port operations, as well as the
development of new empty container yards outside
the port; all in the bid to reduce current
congestions at the port.
He also indicated that the Ministry of Transport
is seeking to work with parliament to pass
appropriate regulations that will mandate the GSA
to work with other stakeholders to achieve the
competitiveness that shippers' desire.
Alhaji Dauda observed it is a sad commentary that
despite the significant role played by maritime
trade and transport in the country's
socio-economic development, the curricular of
public media training institutions, including
Ghana Institute of Journalism and School of
Communications Studies at the University of Ghana
do not have any specialized fields of study in
maritime trade and transport.
The minister urged the various sectors under the
Ministry of Transport, including aviation, road
transport services, and the railway sector, to
forge strong collaborations with the media, for
the benefit of the entire industry.
Source - Economy Times
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Sebening, cWHRgdeTMOuSkHL 2012-12-11 (02:49:48)