The Chairman of the Ashanti regional branch of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA), Joseph Amoah has stated that passing the Ghana Shippers’ Authority regulation 2011 will help to reduce unwarranted charges within our harbours.

He made this statement on Thursday on an American based Ghanaian radio station, Highlife radio (www.highlifetoday.com), during an interview on its flagship program ‘Ghanaians Abroad’ hosted by Yaw Ansah.

In the interview, Mr. Amoah stated that the financial compulsion faced by Ghanaians mostly those in the Diaspora during the clearance of their goods from the harbour is as a result of the numerous infamous bureaucratic tendencies that have engulfed the premises of our harbours. He said there are self-styled agents patrolling the premises of harbours without any authorization from the authorities in charge. These self-styled agents are always on the verge of finding vulnerable individuals to shot chain at every point in time ? he said.

In addition, he mentioned that the challenges faced by numerous Ghanaians at the harbours are of great concern to the GSA, and it is against these backdrops that the GSA has formulated a regulation that is in parliament for the house perusal and subsequent passage.

Mr. Amoah said the regulation when passed, will bestow much power on the GSA to have oversight responsibilities on the clearing and forwarding activities at the harbours. This he said will help the body to monitor and ensure that the appropriate business charges are what are preferred to customers.

Furthermore, he reiterated the commitment of GSA to weed out excess clearing and forwarding agents and agencies whose work on the site are just a mere duplication of officially certified agencies and agents ? an act which he said constitutes the litters of corrupt and deceptive practices at the harbours.

However, he sounded caution to Ghanaians abroad to be weary of such nation wreckers. He said businesses at the harbours should be done with certified officials to ensure that the due process of the law is followed.

Numerous calls came from listeners when the phone lines were opened for call-ins. While questions ranging from shipping regulations to ‘duty’ charges were asked, other couldn’t hide their resentment as they narrated their ordeal in the hands of officials and other scrupulous self-styled agents at the harbours. Some of these narrated ordeals were so pathetic that callers became charged emotionally, and started throwing tantrums at the government for its lackadaisical approach to the issue at hand. It took the persuasive skills and experience of the host, Yaw Ansah to calm down on the program.

There were many shrieks from the callers to take ‘radical’ steps against various Ghana missions abroad. This they say will attract the needed and urgent attention of the government to their numerous but austere predicaments at the habours ? thus attracting the needed redress.

The avalanche of callers who called into the program sounded committed to ? in the near future ? lay down their jobs and time to occupy the premises of these Ghana missions in their respective country of calling ? if government does not duly respond to their inclement call.

As at the time wrapping up this story, consensus on operation ‘Occupy Ghana Missions’ (OGM) as indicated by many of the ?poised to action? callers from Europe (UK, France, Netherland etc), Asia (Japan and Saudi Arabia) and largely from America, was still in the build-up ? but likely to manifest if those concerns raised by them are not addressed. We are tired with governments handling this same old situation with kid gloves ? the callers stressed.

However, Mr. Amoah admonished the listeners to be cautious to do more background checks on those whom services they engaged. He called on them to exercise restrain while government and other stakeholders seek to bring sanity to the sites.

The program ‘Ghanaians Abroad’, hosted by Yaw Ansah serves as the platform for Ghanaians abroad to deliberate on matters affecting them and the way forward to solving them. It comes off every Thursday 7pm E/T time in the US.

By: Amponsah Stonash / Highlife radio(www.highlifetoday.com) ? USA.

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