It now takes between one and two days to clear cargo at the seaports in Ghana, contrary to an average of two weeks that the same exercise requires at Nigerian ports.
Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA), Mr.Kofi Mbiah, disclosed this in Lagos yesterday when he paid a courtesy visit to the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Barrister Hassan Bello.
Mbiah said that the milestone was achieved by implementing an electronic platform at the Ghanaian ports, which has accelerated the goods clearance process.
He said that, until recently, it took an average of 12 days to clear goods at his country’s seaports.
The GSA boss also said that his country has learnt a lot from Nigeria’s past successes and mistakes to improve processes at its ports.
“Ghana and Nigeria have been partnering each other in many respects. We have learnt a lot from Nigeria, because we have been collaborating and sharing ideas,” he said.
He said that like Nigeria, Ghana is still battling with the high cost of doing business at its port, despite its success in reducing the cargo dwelltime.
In his remarks during the visit, the NSC boss called for increased collaboration between both organisations. Bello, who noted the long-standing relationship between the NSC and the GSA, commended the visit, stating that the collaboration is essential in order to share ideas and innovation from the operations of the Ghanaian agency.
“Growth of every economy is hinged on trade and transport. It is important, therefore, that we look at the challenges facing us. It is important that what happens in Ghana is happening here so that there will be greater efficiency,” Bello stated.
He noted that the NSC has been synergising with critical stakeholders in the ports, including shipping companies and terminal operators to not only bring down the cost of doing business, but also reduce cargo dwelltime at the ports, which, according to him, has been a major challenge facing Nigerian shippers.
“The regulatory agencies in the ports, including the shipping companies and the NPA (Nigerian Ports Authority) all have to come together, and that is what the Nigerian Shippers’ Council is doing to provide the synergy and the level playing field so that our ports will be competitive in line with international trade,” he said. Bello said that the collaboration will also be extended to other African countries.