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Editorial News of Wednesday, 26 February 2020


ThePublisher: Mr. President, UNI-PASS would mess up your achievements at the Ports

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President Nana Akufo-Addo cannot deny the fact that some of his appointees, as human as they are, would certainly seek their personal interest above that of his government and Ghana for that matter.

It is for this reason that Mr. President has to find a way of doing independent double checks and discreet probes into programs that generate controversy and public agitations as this repeated attempt to get a supposed Korean company, UNIPASS with its Ghanaian counterparts, Ghana Link, to operate the Ghana National Single Window (GNSW) despite several warnings that it would disrupt revenue generations at the ports and cause major problems for Ghana’s trade facilitation operations.

Mr. President, the persons in your government pushing the UNIPASS agenda claim the company has a superior software system better than the ones currently being used by West Blue and GCNet to man the same GNSW.

Interestingly, NO ONE can own up, and produce any evidence to tell the President in the face or Ghanaians that this supposed new superior system has been tried and tested therefore the person who signed the contract on behalf of government should be held liable for the impending eventuality.

What the persons near the President are most likely to tell him is that the GNSW stakeholders cautioning against the rushed UNIPASS agenda and also repeating the shameful fact that the company DOES NOT HAVE ANY superior software or system, are political rivals.

Let us assume without admitting that the concerned stakeholders are political rivals, does that make nonsense of the factual arguments supported by verifiable data that they have raised?

It is stated categorically in the UNIPASS contract that as part of the requirements, the current software system being used by West Blue and GCNet for the Ghana National Single Window should be collected from them and handed over to UNIPASS!!! Mr. President, if UNIPASS has a superior system, why the need to collect those of West Blue and GCNet and hand over to them as a major requirement?

What was the motive of even signing this UNIPASS contract on the blind side of Cabinet and even Parliament until the Economic Management Team had to step in to rectify the anomaly?

The very contract itself was problematic and could cost the country several billions of Cedis. For example, the termination of the UNIPASS contract by the government either voluntarily or through material breaches occasioned by it, attracts graduated fees of between $93 million in the first year to $12m in the tenth year.

There are several other unanswered critical questions yet, there seems to be some ‘DISRUPT THE PROCESS AT ALL COST’ agenda despite the glaring catastrophic consequences.

As to why this foolhardy agenda MUST AT ALL COST BE inflicted on our revenue generation structure in an election year beats the mind.

The buck stops with you Mr. President. If it goes bad, it is your face that would be in the ballot and it is you, posterity we would remember for this mishap.

The New Publisher is joining the call by IMANI Ghana, the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders and the several other bodies and individuals who are genuinely raising questions over this rushed UNIPASS agenda.

The whole sage needs a relook and an urgent one for that matter.


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