Business News of Friday, 25 August 2017
President Nana Akufo-Addo's administration has been commended for facilitating the upcoming paperless port system that has been in the pipeline since 2012.
Project Development Manager of the Ghana Community Network Services (GCNet), Carl Sackey, said although the September 1, 2017, dateline for the implementation of the initiative is just hitting public knowledge, ground works started a long time ago.
Mr. Sackey’s company is a stakeholder in the sector and the foremost information technology company which provides trade facilitation services for the country.
“Paperless actually started in 2012. It is not new. What is happening now is the Executive support and I think that it is important that we commend the government. Because if you want to do any initiative this if you don’t have the Executive support if will fail,” he said.
He was speaking on current affairs programme PM Express on the Joy News channel on Multi TV.
Despite recording impressive cargo traffic volumes, operations at Ghana's ports have been described by importers and exporters as a cumbersome process due to scarce automation processes.
Middlemen, popularly called 'goro boys', have also been blamed for many instances of underhand dealings at the ports.
According to the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GHAPOHA), total cargo traffic volumes at the Port of Tema in 2016 rose by 1,269,288 tonnes, a 10.5% increase over the previous year’s performance.
The import sector, according to GHAPOHA, was particularly successful with local and transit imports increasing by 8.4% and 19.6% respectively over its 2015 performance.
Even though there was a decline in Transit exports overall Transit traffic increased by 19.4% last year.
There was also a very significant 25.3% increase in local exports in 2016 derived from respective increases in Shea nuts, steel plates, NAPHTA, aluminium ingots and general containerised traffic.
However, attempt to go paperless at the country’s ports and harbours have suffered a five-year drag because stakeholders in the value chain were found to be unprepared.
But the process has been revived by the Akufo-Addo-led administration.
The current paperless project is being spearheaded by the Vice President, Mahamudu Bawumia, and is part of government’s commitment to formalise the economy and to reduce the bottle necks at the country’s ports.
Speaking on PM Express, Mr Sackey said the current administration’s resolve to implement the system, which has met with opposition by some stakeholders, is a bold initiative that will benefit the economy.