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General News of Monday, 26 January 2004

Source: GNA

Implementation of new Stevedoring policy suspended

Accra, Jan. 26, GNA- The Ministry of Ports, Harbours and Railways has directed the Board of Directors of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) to suspend the implementation of the policy on the liberalisation of Stevedoring operations at the Tema port. A statement issued in Accra on Monday and signed by Mr Ahmed Ayuba, Special Assistant to the Minister, Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, said the Minister gave the directive after a meeting with the executives of the Association of Stevedoring Companies and the management of the GPHA.

Professor Ameyaw-Akumfi said the suspension was to enable the stevedoring companies to upgrade their equipment, improve upon their management information systems as well as their efficiency in the handling of stevedoring operations.

The statement said the Minister said it would also afford all stakeholders more time to further discuss modalities for the smooth implementation of the new system.

However, the Statement said the Ministry recognised that the implementation of the new system was crucial to the objective of making Ghanaian ports the gateway to the West African Sub-Region and also improve efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery at the ports. "The Ministry also acknowledges the concerns raised by ship-owners and agents of the turn-round time for ships at the Tema port", it added. The statement said the Ministry had accordingly, requested the GPHA to inform stevedoring companies about modalities for the re-introduction of the old system of cargo allocation with effect from February 1, this year.

The GPHA on January 1, this year, introduced the free-for all system in order to liberalise stevedoring operations at the Tema Port.

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