The Executive Secretary of the Joint Association of Port Transport Union, (JAPTU), Ibrahim Musah has appealed for government to consider the reduction of taxes on haulage vehicles and their parts so they can be easily acquired to replace the dilapidated ones, often being used by many hauliers in Ghana.
Speaking on Eye on port on the Contribution of Haulage Transport to Transit Trade, Ibrahim Musah said the introduction of different forms of vehicle renewal schemes that would cushion hauliers, is a sure way to help them improve vehicle resilience especially now that they intend to position themselves well to compete and take advantage of a liberated market.
“We think one of the things that can help is when government institutes a scheme that has maybe a 10-year revolving arrangement where a certain stock of vehicles in very good shape can be brought in, where we receive as a union, give to our members, to operate, while there is an arrangement for these funds to be recovered,” he explained.
The Executive Secretary of JAPTU also lamented the seeming discoordination of sub-regional stakeholders on transport related policies such as the axel load regime which is providing unfair competitive advantage and increased risk for noncompliant players and called for immediate attention in that area.
Ibrahim Musah recounted the many challenges that transporters associated with the port business in Ghana faced as a result of their initial fragmented state.
He seized the opportunity to praise efforts made by the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and the Ghana Shippers' Authority in reforming the Transport Unions operating in the Port business and added that, it is the best way to making the sector competitive for effective trading on the corridor.
“The reformation just happened at a time where there is growing multilateralism and the best way to go is by coming together; especially as a continent, we are exploring the opportunities of a free market,” the JAPTU Executive Secretary said.
The Project Logistics Manager at Jonmoore International, Frank Oppong, also contributing on the panel discussion, urged government to expedite processes for the provision of rail infrastructure that would give Ghana’s corridor a further boost in efforts to woo more transit business to its corridor.
He said this is crucial as Ghana needs more than its geographical advantage and improved port infrastructure to win the transit market over competing countries who are already making use of effective rail systems.
“We stand at a disadvantaged point where we are the only Anglophone country among the neighbours of Burkina Faso so we need to do more to receive more transit trade. For example, if you go to Ivory Coast, there is a railway that goes straight into Burkina Faso. But we are on the verge of getting to that point,” the Project Logistics Manager at Jonmoore International articulated.
Frank Oppong also suggested that technology should be heavily leveraged on, as Ghana make significant strides to provide efficient and secure modes of transport services for the sub regional market.
He also called for the introduction of incentives from shipping lines and port operators in order to encourage hauliers to position themselves to serve the larger continental market.
“For example, a container supposed to go on transit, you have 21 demurrage-free days. Demurrage fees ought to be looked at. Also if they can do insurance instead of container deposit, that would also help” he proposed.