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Freight Forwarders Reject UNIPASS   
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Carlos Ahenkorah
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The Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF) has vehemently opposed the yet-to-be launched UNIPASS system that would replace the old one.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday in Accra, Kwabena Ofosu-Appiah, President of GIFF, said that the government took a chaotic and suicidal decision.

“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.”

According to Mr Ofosu-Appiah, Ghana’s strategic port should not be used for experiment.

It has been established that the processing fee for the UNIPASS system will be 0.75 percent of Free on Board (FOB) compared to the combined fee of GCNET (0.40 percent of FOB) and Westblue (0.28 percent of CIF) which sums up to 0.68 percent in simplistic terms.

He argued that “since 2002 when GCNET introduced the National Single Window, there has been some consistent incremental progress in the areas of trade facilitation, revenue mobilization, business process and IT infrastructure. One seems to wonder why with all these successes amidst the resolvable challenges, a decision would be reached without evidential facts to replace these systems.”

The GIFF President asked whether government had assessed critically the impact of such intervention on trade facilitation and revenue mobilization and what the targeted Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) were.

GIFF also asked whether government had engaged stakeholders who would integrate with the UNIPASS system.

Furthermore, it wondered whether authorities had considered the impact of the change in terms of cost (training, change management and integration) and time and total cost.

GIFF also asked whether the GCNet and West Blue systems would be scrapped.

“Who would bear the consequential cost of scrapping the two existing systems, and what would happen to the 35 percent shareholding of government in GCNET,” it quizzed.

Carlos Ahenkorah, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, in a reaction, questioned why the Institute did not engage the Ministry for education on the UNIPASS system.

Noting that the new system would be cheaper than the current one, Mr. Ahenkorah added that it would address the impasse between GCNet and Westblue.
Source: Daily Guide

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