Business News of Tuesday, 19 September 2017
On 1st September, 2017 the paperless operations at the ports began officially following the directive by the Vice President of the Republic, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
It has been successful so far in spite of some challenges in the early operational stages, principally, poor network connectivity, errors with invoicing, inability of officers to access key platforms and so on all threatening the system which many have attested is the best way to go as a country, if we want to develop our economy.
It is fair, however to state that, most of those challenges have been well catered for in the 2nd week of the paperless transactions at the Port compared with what happened in the 1st week, raising hopes for a better future for the project.
Deputy Minister of Transport, Daniel Nii Kwatei Titus-Glover has therefore called on the Port Authority, Ghana Customs and other service providers including GC-Net to ascertain the level of progress of the paperless project.
The Deputy Minister of Transport first met with the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and were received by the Acting Director General, the Board Chairman of GPHA, Peter Mac Manu, Director of Tema Port, Edward Osei as well as managers of the Port Authority.
General Manager of Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Esther Gyebi-Donkor briefed the Deputy Minister on the role of GPHA in the paperless project implementation so far.
She said “come first of September, we were able to deploy our condus-pro. And the clients were able to make their requests to take delivery of their cargo through the GC-NET electronically. It came into our condus pro, we were able to raise our invoices automatically, and electronically and submit it back to GC-NET with a PDF format. And the clients could go on GCNet, pick the PDF format if they want to, by printing it or if they just want to pick the invoice number, they do so and go to the banks to pay.”
The Deputy Minister of Transport, Daniel Nii Kwatei Titus-Glover and the GPHA team also called on GCNet, which is e-solution provider for government.
The Transit Manager of GCNet, Jimmy Allotey said “since we started the paperless, GPHA has been kind enough to give us a desk in the revenue centre. So we actually have one member of our staff over there so that at least the issues that come up could be resolved. We have also tried to position ourselves wherever we need to be. So in all of the terminals at the moment there is always at least one GCNet person there and including the CTSB, thus Customs Technical Services Bureau in GRA headquarters”.
The Minister and his entourage also called the ECOBANK office at the long room where they were assured by management that everything is moving on very smoothly.
“It is because we have prepared way ahead. We have also enrolled a lot of our platforms and we are ready for people to pay online and not to come even to the banking halls,” one of the ECOBANK staffs assured the Minister.
The team also met the Assistant Commissioner of the Customs division of the Ghana Revenue Authority in Tema, Felix Mate-Kodjo to learn at first-hand, the level of progress thus far.
The team also met the leadership of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders. The Deputy Minister thanked the Port Authority, Ghana Customs, GCNet and all stakeholders who are working hard to make the paperless system implementation project successful.
“I have been watching and listening from the side-lines. I know there are some Managers who sleep here. They come in very early, and they leave here so late, spending sleepless nights to make sure that we make this paperless project successful. So let me say a big thank you and really show appreciation for the sacrifices that GPHA, the management and staff are doing to make ensure that this flagship programme in clearance processes becomes successful,” he averred.