Police, Shippers’ Authority Commit To Removing Trade Barriers

IGP James Oppong-Boanuh and Mrs Benonita Bismarck

THE GHANA Police Service (GPS) and the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) have renewed their commitment to work together to remove trade barriers along Ghana’s transit corridor.

The two state agencies made the pledge when the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GSA, Ms. Benonita Bismarck, paid a courtesy call on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), James Oppong-Boanuh, on September 1, 2020.

She informed the IGP about the establishment of an e-platform by the GSA in collaboration with the Borderless Alliance to provide real-time solutions to non-tariff barriers to trade along Ghana’s transit corridor.

Ms. Bismarck said with the ongoing expansion works at the Tema port, it is expected that trade will increase between Ghana and the landlocked countries of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

She, however, said the GSA had identified 75 police barriers between Tema and Paga during its quarterly road trips and monitoring exercises along the corridor. The barriers have become a conduit for some officers of the service to extort monies from transit shippers, especially truck drivers for supposed road traffic infractions.

The development, she said, had led to the increasing cost of doing business along the corridor with its associated delays which sometimes caused damage to perishable goods. She appealed to the IGP to assist the GSA in resolving the challenge.

For his part, Mr. Oppong-Boanuh assured the GSA of the police administration’s support in removing non-tariff barriers along the corridor. He intimated the appointment of liaison officers to work with regional commanders to collaborate with the GSA to address the issue.

He appealed to shippers and truck drivers to report officers who extorted monies from them to be sanctioned.

Explaining why there was an increase in the number of police barriers along the corridor, the IGP said the proliferation of weapons and pockets of violence registered in the sub-region coupled with fighting crime internally had given cause to the service to put in extra measures to keep the country safe.

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