Business News of Wednesday, 22 February 2017
The Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition has commended the port authority for the transparent manner in which they conduct their activities.
A delegation from the coalition visited the port authority to discuss the issues of corruption, how people perceive the port and how such issues can be resolved.
The visit formed part of USAID’s accountable democratic institutions and systems strengthening project, ADISS which is aimed at increasing advocacy by civil society for legislative change related to accountability and also increasing documentation and exposure of corruption through civil society reporting mechanisms.
Management of the port authority, led by the Director of Tema Port, Jacob Adorkor took turns to brief the delegation on measures put in place to fight corruption in the port operations.
Mr. Adorkor narrated that “a customer or a shipper who is outside consigns goods to Ghana under the pretext of personal effects, meanwhile, the goods in the container are not personal effects so when the consignee in Ghana receives the bill of laden and knows that the goods in the container are not personal effects, he will get an agent, the agent knowing very well that the goods are not personal effects will initiate the process of corruption.”
According to him, it is imperative for shippers to declare exactly what they import so as to avoid the payment of bribes or their goods being confiscated.
The Port Security Manager, Lt. Col. Nana Antwi Awua-Darkwa said the port has put in place surveillance systems that monitor the operations of security personnel as a way of deterring them from taking bribes.
He added that any officer found culpable would be dealt with drastically.
“Since I took over, so far we have had one occurrence which was dealt with swiftly since then, we have not had any issues as to security officers engaging in corruption. It has been zero so far,” he said.
Principal Marketing Officer at the Port of Tema, Nana Esi Soderberg said the port set up an anti-corruption campaign called Tema Port Integrity Campaign to conscientise the staff on the need to eschew corruption practices.
“We formalized it and we started it by doing our own house cleaning, so we invested in automation, strengthening our systems, training our employees in customer relations and all types of activities that will help them deal well with the customers and then putting things in place that make it virtually impossible influence a customer,” she said.
The leader of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition delegation, Beauty Emefa Narteh stressed the need for the public sector to exhibit openness in their operations since transparency is key in the fight against corruption in Ghana.
She implored actors in the port such as customs, the port authority, food and drugs authority among others to be working together to minimize the perception about corruption in the port.
“We pray that all other stakeholders out there will emulate the port and be opened about their operations because transparency is key if we want to achieve the fight against corruption in Ghana,” she said.