SPEECH READ BY ALHAJI SHAMSU BABAYARO,

VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT ASSOCIATION OF PORT TRANSPORT UNION (JAPTU) AT A SPECIAL STAKEHOLDERS’ CONSULTATION MEETING BETWEEN JAPTU AND THE GHANA SHIPPERS’ AUTHORITY

DATE : THURSDAY 25TH APRIL, 2019
VENUE : FORECOURT OF JAPTU SECRETARIAT, TEMA PORT
TIME : 10:00 AM PROMPTDistinguished Guests
Leadership of All JAPTU Affiliate Associations/Unions
Our Honourable Members
Ladies and Gentlemen
All protocols observed
On behalf of the Joint Association of Port Transport Union (JAPTU), I wish to welcome each and everyone here present for this special stakeholders’ consultation meeting under the auspice of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority and to most sincerely, thank you all, for honouring JAPTU’s invitation to this very important meeting. We deeply cherish your presence and we are absolutely certain that the time that we shall spend here shall be worth every second.
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, as some of you may be aware, JAPTU is the umbrella body of the transport associations/unions that are involved in inland transit haulage from the Tema Port.

The formation of JAPTU became necessary due to a combination of factors which included the following:

• Lack of cohesion and proper co-ordination of the operations of both drivers and owners in the transit haulage sector at the Tema Port.
• Prevalence of some unethical and dubious practices in the transit haulage sector that results in significant revenue losses to the state and tarnishing of the image and reputation of both owners and drivers.
• The absence of a single unified voice for both transit haulage truck drivers and owners.
• The absence of structured collaboration between us and our landlocked partners (Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger).
• The absence of adequate welfare schemes for both transit haulage truck owners and drivers and finally,
• The strong desire to form a cohesive unit that had in place internal self- control and regulatory mechanisms that are designed in collaboration with relevant duty bearers to ensure that our operations offer reliable and offer effective leverage to enable our duty bearers to deliver on their respective mandates.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, just as it happens in the lives of almost every human organization, challenges will arise with time and survival requires that structures and processes must be designed to understand the dynamics of its environment and to evolve appropriately with the changing circumstances of its operational environment in order to remain relevant and adequately responsive to the needs of its constituents.

Incidentally, JAPTU cannot be said to have been proactive enough in the reformation of its structures and operations, over the years. It is partly this docile approach to things that have accounted for the seeming stagnation in JAPTU’s operations that ultimately triggered significant disenchantment among our rank and file which set the tone for the reforms that are currently ongoing, in earnest.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, JAPTU is most grateful to the leadership of the Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority for the keen interest that it has showed in this JAPTU reform process and also for the time and resources that it has committed to ensuring that the entire exercise proceeds as expected and finally yields the results that we all so much desire. We, at JAPTU, cannot talk about the support and recognition that we have enjoyed from the GPHA without mentioning the tireless efforts of Madam Esther Gyebi Donkor of GPHA who has stood with JAPTU through thick and thin and has been a source of sincere guidance and counsel for JAPTU over all these years. JAPTU shall be always grateful to you, as a person, and to the GPHA as a whole.
Distinguished Guests, with your permission, I will like to highlight some of the significant aspects of these reforms that are currently ongoing. The process involves, but is not limited to the following:

• A review and updating of the JAPTU constitution
• Election of substantive officers for fixed terms of office
• Reformation of JAPTU’s administrative and accounting procedures to be consistent with proven international standards and best practices and to demonstrate accountability and transparency to all.
• Launching of an official JAPTU website and strong social media presence
• Compilation of a reliable database of members
• Liaison and collaboration with appropriate institutions to institutionalize appropriate capacity building programmes and other relevant interventions for members
• Formulation of a five (5) strategic development plan
• Establishment of modalities to streamline JAPTU’s interactions with duty bearers in the transit haulage sector
• Strengthening of internal and self-regulations of the operations of members
• Putting in place suitable and sustainable welfare schemes for members

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, as JAPTU braces itself to embrace the dawn of a new beginning with a vision of becoming a professional and reliable transit trade facilitator in the West African Sub-Region that delivers competent inland haulage services in accordance with the highest ethical standards and international best practices and also guarantees, at all times, safe and timely delivery of cargo and working most actively and diligently for the elimination of the diversion of transit cargo and all other unethical conducts within the transit trade in Ghana and beyond. Our mission shall be to enhance the cooperation among members to actively support all duty bearers in the transit trade sector in Ghana to maximize revenue to the state by implementing plans and programmes which will eliminate all transit cargo diversions and ensure the adherence to the highest ethical standards among all actors within the transit trade in Ghana.

Broadly speaking, JAPTU performs a range of services which a can be discussed under the following headings:
• Handling of safety and welfare issues involving member from Accra through our national borders.
• Establishment of registration processes and internal control mechanisms to eliminate transit cargo diversion and other unethical and dubious practices.
• Conducting preliminary investigations on complaints relating to aspects of transit haulage within our jurisdiction.
• Performing all such other functions as may be necessary for maximization of revenue accruing to the state through inland transit haulage.
• Organizing owners and drivers in the transit haulage sector in Tema for easier access monitoring and control by relevant regulators and duty bearers.
• Operating liaison services between affiliate associations/unions and duty bearers
• Dissemination of useful sector information.

Ladies and Gentlemen, JAPTU is not a static entity that is resistant to change but rather an adaptable entity that actively seeks to modify is operations in a manner that makes it adequately responsive to the needs of its constituents in a very dynamic and ever-changing operational environment.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, just as may be the case for several human organizations that need to set out their operations to be consistent with already established rules and regulations, JAPTU has, over the years, had to struggle with the following challenges. Indeed, some of these challenges may be self-inflicted whiles others are external. But key among the challenges that JAPTU is faced with are:

• Lack of consultation in the design of road safety infrastructure and related facilities
• Regular police intimidation and extortion on the transit routes
• Inadequate rest stops on our transit routes
• Axle load enforcement procedures
• Re-registration of transit haulage trucks at the Tema Port
• Attempt to eventually containerize all transit haulage trucks under the revised transit transport regulations
• Granting of access to Transit Yard for haulage trucks not sanctioned by JAPTU
• Lack of due representation of bona fide JAPTU members on relevant committees in the transit haulage sector
• Stagnation of our fees and charges over the past two (2) decades despite the significant increment in the costs of essential inputs
• Apparent machination by some elements to sow seeds of discord, create apathy among the rank and file and eventually break the front of JAPTU.

I wish to re-affirm JAPTU’s commitment to working closely with all duty bearers within the port and beyond. We welcome all suggestions that you can give to us so that our operations will be fit for purpose. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us anytime you wish to. We are here because of you and we want to see us as effective partners in development.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, I will like to end this speech here and allow for us to take statements from our august guests and the leadership of our affiliate associations and unions as this meeting progress.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, I will appeal to us all to actively participate in all deliberations on the floor and to make suggestions on how we can all collaborate make JAPTU worthy of its vision and support our duty bearers in the delivery of their respective mandates.
Once again, I wish to express my most heart-felt appreciation for your presence at this forum and to welcome you all, on behalf JAPTU. Thank you very much and long live our Motherland Ghana.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.