President John Dramani Mahama on Thursday tasked Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority and other stakeholders to synchronise the taxes at the Ports to avoid duplications.
He said the complaints about multiple taxes are getting higher thereby raising a lot of eyebrows among the business community in Ghana and beyond.
“We are carrying out all these expansion projects at the Tema and Takoradi Ports to move a step ahead of our competitors and therefore need to do the right thing to become the best in West Africa,” he said.
President Mahama stated this when he inaugurated the central revenue collecting centre of the Ghana Ports and Harbours as part of a day’s official tour of the Tema Port.
The centre is designated for customers to make all payments to the Port authority to facilitate the clearance process and serve as one-stop shop for all payments to the Tema port.
With the completion of the project, no clearing agent would make payment at the port, but rather enter the port for collection of their goods after making the payment at the revenue centre.
The policy would be replicated in all regional capitals with a single window application thereby eliminating paper work at the ports.
President Mahama commended GPHA for the construction of the centre adding it would further decongest the Port of human traffic that thronged the area to transact business over the years.
He said in assessing the tax regime at the Ports, the stakeholders should consider consolidating some of them to reduce the burden of importers to remain in constant business.
President Mahama said other West African countries are doing their best in the Ports and Harbour business, and the overburdening of importers could force them to find alternative means of clearing their goods.
The President who also cut the tape for a new $ 20 million dollar reefer terminal for refrigerated used to store frozen items said as the economy is growing, there is the need to expand facilities to accommodate the needs of the numerous importers in West Africa.
The reefer terminal could handle about 840 containers, a departure from the previous maximum capacity of 630 containers to receive meat, dairy products, fruits, vegetables and pharmaceutical products.
President Mahama who also inaugurated a cargo handling jetty and four mobile harbour cranes commended the management and staff of GPHA for being self-reliant over the years and appealed to other state owned enterprises to emulate their hardwork.
The Director General of the GPHA, Mr Richard A.Y Anamoo said the construction of the revenue centre would make transactions at the ports faster and eliminate the long chains at the clearance levels.
He said his outfit had engaged in a number of projects that would make the ports very attractive against their competitors in the West coast and called on the workers to put up their best.
President Mahama earlier on addressed fisher-folk at the Tema Fishing harbour, where he also inaugurated a reconstructed wharf, and later inspected work on the Regional Maritime hospital.