It appears that attempts to stamp out red tapes and cut down illegal checkpoints on the country’s trade corridors have started yielding the desired results.
This is because checkpoints of the various security agencies on the 766 kilometres of road have reduced from 61 in November 2017 to 22 (permanent and temporal) as of the second week of September this year.
A recent fact-finding and advocacy trip on the Tema-Paga corridor by the Ghana Shippers' Authority (GSA) showed an improved situation, with police interference in transit truck movement diminishing along the corridor.
It followed a nationwide sensitisation on the important role of police officers in trade facilitation along Ghana’s transit corridor by the Ghana Shippers’ Authority and Ghana Police Service.
The GSA’s fact-finding trips came about after several reports of harassment of cargo transit truck drivers by some police officers and extortion which was impeding trade facilitation and making the nation’s ports unattractive to its neighbouring landlocked countries.
The development was brought to the attention of the former Inspector General of Police (IGP), James Oppong-Boanuh, who directed that a nationwide sensitisation should be held for senior police officers to help deal with the menace.
As a result, the GSA collaborated with the Ghana Police Service to hold several sensitisation programmes across the country.
The programme, which has been sustained since 2020, has yielded results as data from a recent fact-finding trip on the Tema-Elubo corridor held between September 12th – 16th 2022 showed that no police officer stopped a well-identified transit truck.
The data from the fact-finding team also revealed 11 permanent and 11 temporary police barriers along the corridor.
The Head of Freight and Logistics at GSA, Fred Asiedu Dartey, at the GSA’s Transit Shipper Committee Meeting in Accra on September 28, noted that, for all parties involved in the transit trade value chain, the difficulties with road governance throughout Ghana's transit corridors have been a bane to shippers and transit truck drivers.
“Also, non-tariff barriers have increased the cost of shipping transit cargo along major transport corridors while also impeding the seamless movement of such cargo,” he said.
Mr Dartey who is also Chairman of the Transit Shipper Committee said efforts by GSA and other stakeholders to help reduce the disturbing sprawling of checkpoints by police, customs, immigration, forestry and axle load officers were yielding the desired results.
He added that the country's corridors would become more competitive in terms of freight costs if the situation was replicated in all other corridors, namely Tema – Paga and Tema - Elubo.