The Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) has held a day’s sensitization workshop for transit truck drivers operating on the corridors of Ghana, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. The workshop is on the back of the vehicle registration being introduced by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
The GSA in line with its mandate of promoting and protecting the interest of Shippers has committed itself over the years to collaborate with stakeholders in the transport industry with the view to finding solutions and bringing world best practices to Shipping in Ghana, all in the interest of making the corridor very efficient and competitive.
This is the second in the series for engagements with the participants and it is aimed at discussing road safety issues on Ghana’s transit corridors, among others.
Chief Executive of the GSA, Benonita Bismark in an address, noted that the Authority’s collaboration with the Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority (GPHA), the GRA, Borderless Alliance, Ship Owners Association of Ghana (SOAG), and the Freight Forwarding fraternity among others have contributed immensely to the improvement of business on the corridor.
She said a number of international agreements, protocol, and other accords have enabled Ghana’s neighboring countries to transit their goods to and from these countries; a gesture that she said has brought many benefits to Ghana She promised that her outfit will continue to ensure that Ghana’s corridor remains one of the most attractive in the sub-region.
“There is a sustained media reportage of diversion of transit cargo into the local Ghanaian Market. This has necessitated a number of measures by the customs division of GRA to curtail the practice.
“Today’s event is targeting haulage truck drivers and owners – a major constituency in Ghana’s transit corridor because of their unique role. We are here to throw some light on this diversions and also to create a platform for addressing the concerns that you might have,” she stated.
Topics treated among others included New Transit Trade procedures, vehicle registration, boarding of owners and drivers involved in the transit trade, road safety issues along the corridor, vehicle and driving requirements and common offenses along the corridor; highlights in axle load and road traffic regulations (LI 218, 2012).
Resource persons from the Ghana Highways Authority, Ghana Police Service and the National Road Safety Commission took turns to sensitize the drivers on road safety and major road traffic regulations; the legal implications of drunk driving, and the safety of the roads; and the implementation of the Axle Load Regulations in Road Traffic Regulations.
The new guidelines prevent individual registration of vehicles used in transporting transit goods and impose a duty on new applicants to register with recognised transport unions before granted clearance to operate.
An Assistant Commissioner of Customs Division of the GRA in charge of Transit, Emmanuel Tetteh said per the new guidelines, the transport unions are enjoined to conduct due diligence on ownership and roadworthiness of vehicles and would be held accountable for the conduct of the drivers for any breach of Customs regulations.
According to Bismarck Ghana’s quest to become the preferred transit country and the gateway to the West African sub-region requires the commitment of all stakeholders in contributing their quota to solutions to the challenges affecting the growth of transit trade in Ghana.
The Tema Regional Coordinator of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), Tony Dickson, told hbtvghana.com in an interview that the relevance of the sensitization programme cannot be overemphasized due to the increasing statistics of road accidents especially between the year 2017 and 2018.
“There has been an increment in fatal road crashes and at least 90 percent of this crashes have been attributed to human error or human behavior. It has also been identified that those who normally cause these accidents are drivers and that is why we at the Commission are doing our best to educate them at the least opportunity.
Source: Jeorge Wilson Kingson