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Opinions of Thursday, 17 September 2009

Columnist: Adumua, Sam

Tema Port Create Jobs For Thieves ....


I am finding it extremely difficult to understand why we have a section at the Tema port wholly responsible for the removal of steering wheels from right hand drive cars /Lorries imported into the country. Whiles the idea behind this practice may be right, I am afraid to tell whoever brought the idea that those responsible for implementing their idea have done numerous Ghanaian importers more bad than good.

I have heard numerous stories of mishandling and stealing by the mechanics who remove the steering wheels of imported vehicles. The cost to most of the victims ranges between $400-$2000. Just recently I shipped a car to a friend of mine, only for the mechanics at the port to steel the key sensor without which you cannot spark the vehicle. My friend spent almost $800 to purchase a new ignition switch for the car. Another friend of mine had his electronic control unit (ECU) destroyed by these same illiterates calling themselves mechanics. The cost of this is about $1800.

These mechanics collect bribes from importers before removing the steering wheel, after which they will destroy or steal the vehicle parts. This has been going on for sometime now and the situation is getting out of hands.

I will therefore like to call on the director of the Port to close that department with immediate effect and come out with a better solution to handle the situation of right hand cars being driven in the country. This is causing innocent importers millions of cedis on top of the high import duties imposed on these vehicles.

I think it will rather be better to give importers a grace period of up to 3weeks to get their cars converted from RHD to LHD. Whoever fails to comply with this directive should be dealt with drastically. I believe this is better than allowing the so called mechanics to steal and destroy vehicle parts in the cause of removing the steering wheels. We are tired of paying huge import duties and having parts of our vehicles stolen.