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Business News of Monday, 28 May 2018


I disagree with GIFF’s position on UNIPASS – Member

A member of Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF), Dennis Amfo-Sefa, has questioned the rationale behind the decision of leaders of the GIFF’s to kick against government’s plans to introduce UNIPASS Customs Technology, to help provide a comprehensive national single window platform in Ghana to rake in more revenue for the country.

According to him, two private companies (GCNET and WESTBLUE) are currently running the national single window for the clearance of cargo from the port. “WESTBLUE charge 1% of CIF while GCNET charge 0.4% of FOB which implies that the two companies charge 1.4%.”

Dennis Amfo-Sefa said government thought it wise to reduce the cost of doing business at the port, hence their decision to bring on board UNIPASS, which will be doing the same job that GCNET and WESTBLUE did but at a reduced cost of 0.75%, which he believes is a relief for every single Ghanaian and importer in this country.

“I am so surprised our institute is taking a position that we are against that, I don’t get it” he stressed.

“They have not even approached the ministry to ask them questions about this UNIPASS and what it all entails, so if you haven’t asked questions, and haven’t been given answers, why do you state a position?” he asked.

Mr Amfo-Sefa believes the position of GIFF should have come after the institute had engaged those in authority and were not satisfied with the responses given.

GIFF on Monday, May 28, 2018 organised a Press Conference to pressurize the government of Ghana to discontinue with their intentions of bringing on board UNIPASS Customs Technology to help provide a comprehensive national single window platform to rake in more revenue for the country.

According to the President of GIFF, Kwabena Ofosu Appiah, “in every system implementation a basic assessment has to be done to establish a gap if any. Once this is done a Proof of Value (POV) must be done to establish the strategic fit. This process is to ensure that the system being implemented aligns with the strategic objectives of the entity implementing the system.”

“In high-end system implementation like in the case of the Port, various forms of simulations, pretests and parallel runs must be done to ascertain the efficacy of the system. Aside this, various players and stakeholders in the industry must be extensively consulted to give their inputs and acceptance.”

Mr Kwabena Ofosu Appiah noted that “in the wake of the rigorous review on the Paperless Port System, spearheaded by no mean a person but the Vice President of the land, we suddenly hear of the UNIPASS system announced by the Ministry of Trade to replace the existing workable solutions on the ground.”

“The trajectory on which we are riding is not only chaotic but suicidal. We have travelled on this journey before and have learnt our lessons as a country and for that matter we don’t need to repeat the errors of old. This is why it was very unfortunate for the Ministry of Trade to have announced the replacement of GCNET and Westblue Systems with no justification. Whilst the Ministry takes this initiative they fail to understand that, the Port as a strategic asset of this country cannot and must not be used for experiment.”