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Business News of Saturday, 30 December 2017


Paperless system challenges to be rectified - Bernard Oduro Nyarko

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Trans Africa Logistics, Bernard Oduro Nyarko has called on freight forwarders, clearing agents and importers to exercise restraint as the challenges associated with the paperless system will be rectified soon.

Government began the implementation of the paperless clearing system on September 1, 2017, to speed up the process of clearing goods from two weeks to four hours, and ensure order at the port, whilst blocking loopholes.

The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia claimed some days after the launch that an initial assessment of the implementation of the paperless system at the country’s ports, has shown a revenue collection improvement of 56 percent.

According to him, revenue at the ports increased from GHC 130 million in the first week of September 2016, to GHC 213 million in the same period for 2017.

“On September 1, we launched the paperless [system], but of course not without attempts to actually derail the process, because it’s hurting a lot of people who were making free money and people who used to take two weeks to clear a container after one day of delay were protesting. Are you protesting the system or something else?”

“The results are amazing. We just looked at data this morning – first week of collections under the paperless system in September this year compared to last year first week of collections in September 2016, and collections have gone up by 56 percent; 56 percent from around GHC 130 million to GHC 213 million in one week,” he added.

But the system has experienced some hitches following which hundreds of angry Freight Forwarders have protested. Some have demanded that the system be reversed.

Reacting to these concerns, Bernard Oduro Nyarko whose company is in charge of the implementation of the system assured his colleagues that the government will work to rectify all the errors.

“We will work to rectify the challenges associated with the paperless system, it is never a bad system, it just need to be worked on and fellow freight forwarders must be rest assured that in 2018, there will be an improved system…,” he assured on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen.

According to Oduro Nyarko, the Vice President considers the system a major priority area for government and would not let clearing agents at the port down.

The freight forwarder however called on members of the business community who come to the ports to transact business to deal with the ‘right people and stop cutting corners’.

“One of the problems at the port is that some businessmen and importers prefer to deal with the wrong people and cut corners, and this does not augur well for all of us, so we should put a stop to that and learn to deal with the right people…,” he urged.