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Ship Owners demand explanation on fumigation exercise at ports

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Members of the Ship Owners and Agents Association of Ghana are calling on government to come clear on the modalities of the Cargo Fumigation Exercise.

This comes after various associations including the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), and Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF) kicked against the exercise, stating that, it will add to their cost of operations.

The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) have also expressed their displeasure with the additional cost the exercise brings, while GUTA and GIFF have described the disinfection exercise as poorly planned.

In an interview with Citi Business News, Executive Council of the Ship Owners and Agents Association of Ghana, Adam Imoru Ayarna said government is yet to explain the modalities of the exercise to them.

“It’s not very clear how this whole disinfection exercise is going to be carried out,  what we know is that  it involves import containers and export containers as well”.

He added, “So we need clarity from government and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to see where the responsibilities end, then we can know who is actually responsible for cost”.

Mr Ayarna was of the view that proper clarity of the exercise will inform the affected stakeholders on what decisions to take.

“In business cost, will always be recouped so every business might bear part of the cost but the other aspect is weather the cost really mine. If it’s not mine, then somebody will have to pay for it so I might recoup it,” he remarked.

“So if we understand the dynamics it will pretty much inform us and then we can be in a position to properly advice on either best practice or what we will want to do or not want to do,” he added.

Meanwhile, Responding to the concerns raised by the stakeholders, the Director of Public Health Division of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Badu Sarkodie welcomed calls for further stakeholder consultation on the cargo fumigation exercise.

This, he says will ensure the effective implementation of the exercise.

Speaking to Citi Business News, Dr. Badu Sarkodie said the Ghana Health Service is ready to ensure that the disinfection exercise comes off without any problems.

“The Ghana Health Service (GHS) is responsible for ensuring the technical relevance of the disinfection exercise, which we’ve well established. However it’s important for all the stakeholders to meet and discuss why this is being done and what stake each of them has in the implementation.”

“I agree perfectly that all stakeholders should get together. If by the final implementation stage there are gaps and shortfalls, during the discussions these things will come out. We can then discuss and agree on the best way forward for the country, ”he stated.

By: Anita Arthur and Bobbie Osei/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana

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