Ghana Importers And Exporters Association, GUTA Meets Maritime Authority

A delegation from the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana and the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) have paid a courtesy call on the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) for a joint collaboration to ensure maximum maritime safety and security.

The Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, Samson A. Asaki said they see the Authority as a strategic stakeholder in the development of international trade.

He noted that this visit forms the beginning of a close partnership with GMA however, they are considering some institutions they intend to visit.

After expecting the newly installed facilities at the Authority, the General Secretary appeals to Ship Owners Agent Association of Ghana (SWAG), leadership to ask their members as a matter of urgency to pay any money that is due to the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA).

According to him, that they can use it to build staff capacity and other infrastructure development.

He calls on the GMA to engage the Importer and Exporters Association of Ghana in subsequent workshops and conferences so as to work towards the good course in industry.

Without import and export, he believe that Ghana Maritime Authority will not have exist at the first place however, he appealed to the 13 Board Member of the GMA comprised of the agencies to provide one slot for the Importer and Exporter Association because they also direct stakeholder of the sector.

He calls on government to expedite the actions for the full adoption of the Maritime Pollution Bill which is currently before Parliament inorder to prevent spillage of poisonous substances into the sea.

The Director General of the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), Mr. Peter Issaka Azuma took the pains to elaborate their functions to two unions how the Authority promotes international trade since 95% of international commerce depends on maritime.

And so without performing effectively behind the scene, the movement of trade to Ghana would have recorded low.

He said the concern by the Importers and Exporters Association to give them the opportunity to be part of the Board of the Authority falls under the umbrella of government.

He pointed out that the Importers and Exporters Association are represented by the Shippers Council but they can only decide whether their representation thus reflect the interest of the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana.

He assure them that they will do their best subject to financial constraints but in reality as a financial independent agency there is no need for them to go to the Ministry of Finance to ask for budgetary support to execute their outlined projects.

According to him, the responsibility falls on the industry players to support the Authority in order to put up the requisite infrastructure and logistics such as a marine ambulance with medical experts whenever there is a distress call by ships operators for help on the high sea.

According to him, unfortunately TOR is owes as much as 69000 dollars where he has made a passionate representation to the Minister of Energy and the National Security Coordinator to intervene and see how these monies will be paid.

“If this not paid, we are going to have the next meeting and it’s not going to auger well for Ghana, if we have a major oil spill despite having the Marine Pollution Bill enforced, if you default in payment the consequences are that they will look at their ledger and say sorry we can’t help you,” he stated.

He said the National Security Coordinator and the Minister are very concern, and wherever the money is ready to pay for the 69000 dollars Ghanaians should be rest assured that ships calling at the ports are secured in terms of safety security and other environmental issues.

The General Secretary of GUTA, Alpha Shaban indicated that as partners of national development in private and the public sectors, they need to work in close standards because prior to their visit, they had no knowledge about what it takes to ensure maritime safety and security.

He said as private sector contributors and as equal partners in national development, they are key or the engine of growth of the economy whereas GMA is also key facilitators of the economy.

Therefore, Mr. Shaban said the the meeting marks the beginning of the close collaboration between the stakeholders of the industry.

He calls on all the state institutions especially the MDAs to interactive effectively to eliminate the wrong perception about themselves in order to move Ghana rapidly towards development.

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