The Commissioner of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, GRA, Colonel Kwadwo Damoah Rtd., has called for the respective laws and regulations governing the operations of the various ports should be defined and outline.
This, he noted, that there is a power strugle between the GRA and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, GPHA, which according to him is affecting the smooth operations of the port.
Colonel Damoah Rtd. made this assertion in a speech read for him at a multi-stakeholders business intergrity forum organised by the Ghana Integrity Initiative, GII, in Accra.
It was on the theme: “Promoting An Effective And Efficient Business Environment Within Our Ports: A Case Of Cumbersome Clearing Process”.
The forum was aimed at creating an avenue for deliberations on challenges faced by stakeholders in the shipping industry and to find solution of identified challenges.
Participants were drawn from the Institute of freight forwarders, Food and Drugs Authority, GPHA, Telecos among others operating at the ports.
Colonel Damoah Rtd. stated that congestion, insecurity at the Port contribute to the current situation leading high theft of container goods.
He added that due to those challenges at the port, various stakeholders had taken advantage of the lapses indulging in corrupt act, and abusing the payment of clearing processes.
Colonel Damoah Rtd said the GHPA decides where and when a ship berths or discharges its cargo; where the cargo was removed to and where the cargo was “secured.”
“Customs’ ability to conduct examination of goods is determined by the readiness of GPHA staff whom an agent has to consult to position a container for examination of its contents by Customs officials,” the Commissioner said.
The Executive Director of GII, madam Linda Ofori-Kwafo, said GII will continue to organise to create a community of practise that will enable businesses to share and learn from one another on anti-bribery and anti-corruption policies that will promote transparent and accountable business practise.
She added that the GII will further strengthen its collaboration with the GRA and expand its current work by organising workshops to enhance the capacity of trainers of integrity.
Madam Ofori-Kwafo emphasized the need for the strengthening of institutions responsible for revenue mobilization to be more efficient and effective.
By: Paul Mamattah