Soon the rains will start in the Upper East Region and as usual, truck and heavy-duty drivers who use the Paga border lorry park have started ‘crying’ as they look forward to the pain and inconvenience associated with the use of the park in the rainy season.
Drivers enroute Burkina-Faso, Mali and Niger with goods are required to park at the Paga border lorry park, as they go through inspection procedures to get clearance before crossing the border to continue their journeys.
For years, the Paga border lorry park has been in bad shape and several appeals made by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority and other stakeholders to have it rehabilitated have not yielded any significant results.
Currently, just about the size of two 70x100meters plots out of the over two acres of land are being used, while the rest has been encroached upon by artisans, traders, vulcanizers and corn mills operators. At least 150 trucks with containers pass the park every day.
The park neither has no pavement blocks nor tarred floor and as a result of the frequent movement of heavy trucks on the dry sandy surface, the entire park, the Customs building, businesses along the road and lately the offices of Nick TC-Scan are always engulfed in dust, making it difficult for border officials to carry out their duties.
Drivers have been complaining about the lack of sleeping places and places of convenience. They have also been complaining of severe body pains as a result of driving through ‘cavities’, lack of sleep and inhalation of dust anytime they get to the Paga border lorry park.
A Senior Revenue Officer of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Kwame Arhin, told the DAILY GUIDE that working around the lorry park has been a difficult task and hoped the Kassena-Nankana West District Assembly will get funds to rehabilitate and tar the entire lorry park like that of the Dakola border lorry park in Burkina-Faso.
According to him, the private sector can also take advantage of the facility to invest in accommodation, places of convenience and a decent parking space to generate revenue.
The Kassena-Nankana West District Assembly has a revenue collection post at the Paga border lorry park which collects parking fees from drivers who use the lorry park.
The Manager of Nick TC-Scan Company Limited at the Paga border lorry park, Mahama Haruna, confirmed that dust from the lorry park is unbearable and could affect the operations of the equipment if the condition remains same for long.
The Nick TC-Scan is working in partnership with the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority to scan all containers passing through the Paga border.
According to Mr Mahama, the presence of Nick TC-Scan will ensure quick inspection of all containers and trucks that pass through the company’s scan.
“With this facility, all containers will be scanned as quickly as possible, thereby, reducing the time drivers spend at the park, as well as reduce the conjunction at the park. Nick TC-Scan Company Limited provides a non-intrusive inspection of goods on behalf of Customs. This time nothing can be hidden, thereby, no revenue will pass unnoticed,” he added.
From Ebo Bruce-Quansah, Paga