To reverse the declining rate in transit trade volumes, the Ghana Shippers’ Authority has teamed up with Ecobank to develop a payment product that will allow shippers from neighbouring landlocked countries to easily access CFA Franc for shipping-related transactions.
The move follows several complaints by cargo truck drivers and importers from Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger regarding their struggles with making payments for shipping in Ghana.
At a meeting between officials of the two organizations at the Shippers’ House in Accra, both parties shared the view that the practice of carrying cash, usually in CFA Franc to cater for cargo handling obligations and other services posed enormous challenges and also created security risks such as robberies.
The Head of the Freight and Logistics Department, Mr Fred Asiedu-Dartey reported that per the Bank of Ghana rules, there is no restriction on Commercial Banks for trading in CFA Francs.
He disclosed that the payment product, when finalised, would go a long way to improve the declining rate of transit volumes at Ghana’s Ports.
“We have a payment problem that has translated into a safety problem because the truck drivers park on the shoulders of the road, waiting for payments from the importers and their agents before they move. This is why the payment platform by Ecobank is crucial to addressing not only the decline in transit volumes at our Ports but also the risks these trucks pose to other road users,” he noted.
The Head of Cash Management Sales at Ecobank Ghana, Mr Ebenezer Goode, said that the proposal is commendable, adding that Ecobank is ready to play its part in the process to improve the transit trade sector.
The representatives of Ecobank proposed a meeting with stakeholders to know their plights, which would inform the design of the payment product.
Richard Aniagyei, ISD