Business News of Monday, 28 May 2018
A Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Carlos Ahenkorah, has assured members of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF) that due process will be followed as far as government’s plans to introduce UNIPASS Customs Technology to help provide a comprehensive national single window platform in Ghana is concerned.
The move which forms part of efforts to rake in more revenue at the ports he explained will be conducted fairly such that the companies whose contracts are being abrogated; GCNET and WESTBLUE will not be affected.
His Boss, Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen according to him, is emotionally attached to GCNET through family ties; his brother-in-law is an employee of the company, the more reason the deal will be done carefully to ensure all parties are served equally.
“So you think that my minister will be so wicked to take food from his in-law for his nieces and nephews to go hungry?” he asked.
Addressing concerns of GIFF that the coming in of UNIPASS to do the work of GCNET and West Blue at the port will ensure lots of judgement debts as well as loss of jobs, the minister said, it is not in the interest of the NPP government to kill people’s businesses because he also has an emotional attachment to GCNET for he is a pioneer of GCNET.
“I was around the first day GCNET was rolled out in the port and we made GCNET survive. I have a serious attachment to people within GCNET,” he stated.
According to Mr Ahenkorah, misunderstanding between GCNET and West Blue made importers to clear brand new Range Rover at a cost of GH?5,000. “People were clearing a whole containers of fruit juice for GH?11,000 because two systems didn’t agree.”
Due to that, the deputy minister indicated that the government in its wisdom has decided to bring in UNIPASS to help provide a comprehensive national single window platform in Ghana to rake in more revenue for the country.
Mr Ahenkorah explained that “the previous government has invited the Korean government to bring their customs UNIPASS to show us how it is done and just at a verge of signing the contract, it swerved to another company called West Blue so these guys had to leave the country.”
“We are doing Ghana a very good service by not even going to America or London to bring a different person, the same people that the NDC government brought in 2015, we said to them come back because we have seen what you have provided and we think it is the best that can help us.
And this time we are not even going to look at just customs revenue, we are going to look at income tax, point of sale devices, among other things” he said.