Niger is to resume transit business with the Takoradi Port after a 10-year break in trade due to application of Axle load system.
This follows two successful meetings held between the Ghana Ports and Harbour’s Authority (GPHA) and the Nigerien Economic Operators.
To indicate a renewed relationship, the Nigerien Economic Operators have assured the Takoradi Port that a rice consignment that was originally meant for another port will be diverted to the Takoradi Port.
This came to light at a stakeholder engagement organised by the Takoradi Port with the Nigerien Economic Operators, in Takoradi.
The engagement was to find out the reason why they stopped trading with the Port and to ensure smooth trade and increase in volumes of trade to the Takoradi Port.
The Takoradi Port started transit business with Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali in 2002.From 2002 to 2008, Niger was leading in the transit business at the Takoradi Port.
However, with the introduction of the axle load system in 2009, Niger stopped using the Takoradi Port.
Several attempts were made to revive the trade only for it to cease again in 2011. So, from 2011 to date not a single Nigerien cargo passed through the Takoradi Port.
Apart from the axle load system, the Nigerien Economic Operators have also cited poor flow of information on goods due to language barrier, lack of warehouse, cost of transport, hidden charges at various checkpoints as well as driver harassment by security agencies on the Ghanaian corridor among others.
The Nigerien Economic Operators also mentioned unfair trade practices implemented by fellow francophone countries as a challenge affecting them and that they are looking forward to resume transit business with Ghana.
As a result, Niger has since last year, been interacting with the Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority on the possibility of resuming transit trade at the Takoradi Port with the assurance of an enabling business.
David Songotu GPHA’s Ambassador to the Sahelian Countries (Burkina Fasso, Mali, Niger) said: “Bottlenecks that hindered trade between the two countries are being addressed vigorously”.
Acting Director of the Takoradi Port Captain Ebenezer Afedzie: “The Port is moving to resolve the issue that is impinging the increase in trade volumes for the corridor”.
“I can assure you that corrective measures have already been taken to rectify all the challenges, and you have also mentioned that your cargo is going to pass through the Takoradi Port starting from November, this, is an indication that business has resumed”, he said.
Mr Peter Amoo-Bediako, Acting Marketing and public Affairs Manager at the Takoradi Port said, “There is the need for collaborative effort to make our corridor attractive to all.”