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Business News of Monday, 27 April 2020

Source: thepublisheronline.com

Ghana Link/UNIPASS: Deliberate revenue loss as World Bank, IMF petitioned


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Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Marfo has decided that the ongoing disruption in trade facilitation and resultant revenue loss at the Takoradi Port, caused by Ghana Link/UNIPASS, should be replicated across the country including the Tema Ports and the Kotoka International Airport, even when the agents, importers and freight forwarders who use the system are saying they feel sad for Ghana that the hitherto enviable trade facilitation system is being crashed on purpose.

This was the same Nick Danso’s Ghana Link/UNIPASS system that government said was superior to the ones being used by GCNet and West Blue.

In plain words, the government of Ghana has taken a decision that has led to revenue loss at the Takoradi Ports, and when stakeholders raised the alarm that the challenge should be solved, the government of Ghana ignored and rather said the persons causing the revenue loss should expand their works to other revenue collection points of the country using the same system that is causing the revenue leakage.

Among the tall list of the newly occasioned chaos at the Takoradi Ports, one of the key factors that is making government loose revenue under the Ghana Link/UNIPASS- ICUMS system is explained best in a statement issued by the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF) that the values of taxes and customs duties they are to pay are not being charged them because of wrong valuation.

According to GIFF, even when importers and persons who are to pay the duties notify the authorities at the ports that the charges are wrong and that it is causing huge revenue loss on a daily basis, nothing is done about it.

The exact motive of the government of Ghana is allowing this to happen on a daily basis remains a surprise especially when the same government has run to the International Monetary Fund, (IMF) and other institutions seeking all sorts of credit facilities and debt reliefs.

The attention of the IMF office in Ghana, the World Bank office in Ghana and other institutions that offer financial aid to the country has been drawn to this deliberate revenue loss and the fact that even when complaints are raised by stakeholders nothing is done about it.

It makes no sense for the IMF and World Bank to continue to give loans, grants and other financial facilities to a country that looks unconcerned when its main sources of revenue have been deliberately made to leak porously and huge amounts of revenue continue to go down the drain daily.

Ghana’s Vice President, Dr. Bawumia and head of the Economic Management Team (EMT) Ghana’s Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta, and Ghana’s Trade Minister Alan Kyerematen are all aware of the revenue loss and the continuous mature of it, yet they seem unperturbed as the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Marfo is willfully asking the same persons causing the financial loss to go nationwide with the same systems which would result in the same loss.

The Ghana Link contract with the government of Ghana, in itself, has raised questions on why although the sum of the contract for the whole 10 years is valued at $40 million, the government of Ghana has agreed to pay almost $93 million to Nick Danso’s Ghana Link if the contract is abrogated in the first year.

Stakeholders and civil society have not stopped calling on government to as a matter of urgency suspend the Ghana Link/UNIPASS systems until the company is fully prepared to take off.

Even the Minority side of Parliament has made similar calls but not on the concerns raised from any of the groups has been given any attention.

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