The Ghana Port and Harbours Authority's vision to make the country's Seaports the leading maritime hub and the beacon of trade and commerce in West Africa may soon face soon face serious challenge as Nigeria plans to overtake Ghana in achieving the same vision.
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman, in a stakeholders meeting, has assured members that her administration would work assiduously towards making Nigeria's ports a hub in the sub-region.
She made this comment in an interactive session with the 14-member Inter-Ministerial Standing Committee on the Nigerian-Niger Joint Commission for Cooperation, at the NPA Headquarters, Marina, Lagos,
The head of the committee, Ashibel Utsu, in supports of Usman vision said:
"Before the inception of the committee in 2013, there was a total abandonment of the Nigerian seaports and railways by the Nigerien business community on the movement of cargo as a result of human factors."
"This resulted in the use of ports in Ghana, Lome and Cotonou, which deprived the country of resources which also resulted in huge revenue loss to the NPA." he added.
"But with the setting up of a similar committee in Niger, efforts are being made at ensuring that these factors are looked into and bottlenecks are amicably resolved in a view of fast tracking the gains from such synergy."
Ghana's port receives an average of over 1650 vessel calls per year and these comprise an assortment of container vessels, general cargo vessels. tankers, Ro-Ro and cruise vessels amongst many others.
However, the withdrawal of Africa's most populous nation's from using Ghana's port for business, obviously could lead to loss of revenue to as it seeks to position itself as the trade and investment gateway to the West African sub-region.
The Europe Business Assembly (EBA), an international corporation for the evolution and implementation of economic and social development, recently awarded the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) the best enterprise award for being a leader of the maritime transport industry in Africa.
By Abdul Malik/ ghanaguardian.com