Anger is brewing among importers and other stakeholders with interest at the Tema and Takoradi ports over how National Security operatives have taken over the ports.
The action by the National Security followed a directive from the Ministry of Finance asking that the National Security should help in managing Uncleared Cargo List (UCL) at the ports.
The National Security, in the course of sealing UCL containers, went further to seal other containers, and that is delaying business and making the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and the state to lose revenue.
This move by the Ministry of Finance to rake in more revenue for the state is rather making the state to lose revenue because of the excesses of the National Security operatives at the ports.
A letter from the Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, dated April 8, 2022, addressed to the Director General of GPHA and copied to the National Security Coordinator, following his tour to the Tema Port on April 6, this year, stated among others “no reefer containers on UCL shall be transferred to any third party terminal except to consignee or other UCL terminals and upon written authorization by the Minister for Finance or his designate for the next six months.”
Another letter with almost the same contents was written to the National Security Minister, Mr. Albert Kan-Dapaah, on April 8, 2022.
The letter said there should be submission of full compilation list of all UCL containers to date on each of the terminals, detailing date of arrival in the port, date transferred to UCL terminal, shipping line, original consignee and current status.
The finance minister wants the GPHA to every Monday submit the list of containers on UCL to the National Security with a copy to his office.
The directive was specifically targeted at UCL containers, but National Security operatives have gone further to seal containers that are not part of the UCL containers mentioned in the minister’s directive.
Business people who are to clear their goods are not able to do that early at the Tema Port.
Attempts by the GPHA to make the National Security operatives stationed at the Tema Port, following the minister’s directive, know their limit have not been successful.
The Inquisitor has been informed of some altercations between officials of the GPHA and the National Security operatives over how they are over-stepping their bounds.