The Director-General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Michael Luguje has revealed that developments in Ghana’s ports have positioned the country at a competitive advantage within the sub-regional shipping subsector.
The Director-General of GPHA who was speaking on the Eye on Port program, indicated that due to the operational efficiency of the Tema Port, for example, shipping lines prefer calling at the port in comparison to other ports in the sub-region.
“If you check with shipping lines they will tell you freight rates paid by our importers, the argument is that coming into Ghana is cheaper than a couple of our neighbouring countries that do not have the kind of facility we have,” he disclosed.
Citing Nigeria as an example where there is a lot of congestion at the Lagos port, he said the minimum vessels would wait before they have access into the port is 3-4 days. “Meanwhile in Tema, as soon as you arrive, you berth straight. So, there is congestion surcharge where importers pay extra when using Lagos Port.”
Mr. Luguje, who is the President of the Ports Management Association of West and Central Africa, also revealed that the introduction of trade facilitation interventions like the single window and paperless ports system have positioned Ghana as one of the three most efficient ports in the African continent, with many countries aspiring to replicate the feat.
“If you take out Morocco and Mauritius, in terms of ease, and quick clearance of goods, Ghana comes next,” he confirmed.
The GPHA Boss said Ghana’s ports are well-positioned to serve as leading trade and logistics hubs in the sub-region and he is excited for the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.