Members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism, have on Tuesday, 22nd September 2020, paid a working visit to the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, to familiarize themselves with the implementation of digitization programs and other key developments at Ghana’s ports.
According to the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee, Nana Marfo Amaniampong in line with their oversight responsibility on trade, it was important to interact with the Port Authority which plays a key role in trade facilitation in the country to ascertain the impacts of national digitization programs and reforms on the activities at Ghana’s ports.
“An integral part of trade is foreign trade and all foreign trade starts and ends at the port. So we came here to interact with you to see how the policies of this current administration has impacted on you,” he stated.
The Corporate IT Manager of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Francis Donkor indicated that tireless efforts by the Port Authority has ensured a seamless integration with the new Integrated Customs Management System, for efficient cargo clearance at the country’s ports despite some challenges during the initial rollout of the system.
“We are able to complete end to end transactions using the ICUMS platforms and our systems are picking information directly from the ICUMS platform to generate automatic invoice for our customers and that is really working well,” The GPHA Corporate IT Manager explained.
He said GPHA’s systems have been designed to enhance convenience for clients, where importers and exporters would now be able to transact with the Port Authority through electronic means such as mobile money.
The Corporate IT Manager revealed many other technological advancements that the Ghana Ports Harbours Authority has embarked upon to improve the overall efficiency of Ghana’s ports.
The General Manager in charge of Corporate Planning, Samuel Ntow-Kummi, said investments made in Ghana’s ports over recent years are geared towards growing the cargo traffic by the end of the year, 2020.
“Containers measured in TEUs have been growing steadily over the last 4-5 years. We hit the psychological threshold of 1 million TEUs in 2018. Thankfully this year, it is projected that we will still hit that psychological threshold,” he revealed.
He said the 50 percent expected decline in cargo traffic particularly through the Port of Takoradi is due to the negative consequences of COVID-19 on oil and gas sector as well as the capping of manganese exports by government.
Members of the parliamentary wrapped their visit with a tour of the Meridian Port Services Terminal 3 to familiarize themselves with operations at the gigantic port facility at the Port of Tema.
The Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee said having had first-hand experience of developments at the country’s ports, he gained a deeper appreciation of the progress made.