Carlos Ahenkorah disrupts press conference on UNIPASS

Business News of Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

2018-05-29

Carlos Ahenkorah, Deputy Trade and Industry Minister

A Deputy Trade and Industry Minister, Carlos Ahenkorah Monday interrupted a press conference organised by the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders.

He entered the premises without the knowledge of organisers to clarify what he termed as misconceptions about the UNIPASS system.

According to Mr Ahenkorah said he was there to address their concerns from government’s perspective.

The UNIPASS system will replace all trade facilitation roles at the port.

Trade facilitation roles involve the clearing of goods and tracking of revenue at the ports.

These roles are currently managed by GCNet and WestBlue.

The freight forwarders have complained about the distortions the new system is likely to bring.

However, the government insists that UNIPASS is good for the country as it will reduce some port charges.

Charges may reduce from 1% on a consignment of imported items to 0.75% on the same quantity of goods.

Mr Ahenkorah told Citi Business News government will not back down on its decision to introduce the new system.

“The most important thing is UNIPASS is certainly going to come to pass but when that happens we will call on the termination or the expiry clauses of these contracts of the big players in the system now…we are going to ensure that there will be any judgement debt in Ghana with the roll out of UNIPASS,” he argued.

GIFF maintains stance on ‘bad deal.’

The President of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Kwabena Ofosu Appiah wants the government to review the current agreement.

He fears that arguments of a reduction in some of the port charges may not happen considering prevailing distribution model of the operational costs.

“This issue presents the government a glorious opportunity to want to renegotiate the terms of whatever agreement that the existing platforms have already…The UNIPASS system needs to come and run the process mapping, run and code the flow before we could work. So we ask the question why fix it when it is not broken? The IT solution that is being delivered to us today, we have no problem with them,” he stressed.

“Our simple message was to expand the scope of the narrative. We realised that the conversation that was out there for which reason we sought for the introduction of another platform to take over was based on cost and perfomance. We wanted everybody to get a perspective of the conversation that was ongoing,” he added.

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