Some freight forwarders at the Tema Port have expressed their displeasure with President Nana Akufo-Addo’s government’s first year in office.
These freight forwarders believe the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has performed poorly with regards to addressing the challenges at the port.
Speaking to Citi News ahead of the President’s State of the Nation Address slated for tomorrow, [Thursday] February 8, 2018 in Parliament, some of the freight forwarders said a review of the paperless system will alleviate their plight.
Some of them also appealed for the removal of some processes they consider bottlenecks at the port, which they said obstruct the efficient clearing of goods.
One of the freight forwarders said the NPP’s first year in office “has been very disappointing in the sense that, since the NPP came values have increased so much.”
“Formerly, we used to pay a 100% penalty for short collection. But now we are paying 300% penalty and it is very worrying. Importers are complaining and it is affecting our job. It has slowed down importation. So comparing the former government to this, it has been very bad,” he added.
Another one also complained that some reforms made at the port have not been helpful to them.
“With the process they’ve brought onboard, it’s double work. So if they will review the paperless system they should do it because it will help the government, freight forwarders and importers. Because now there are all sorts of bottleneck processes at the port. So if it should be reviewed it will be very helpful. After going to GCNET and sending a declaration, you need to go back to the West Blue platform which is causing a huge problem. Secondly too, they should check the benchmark values they are giving because we’ve seen nothing,” a freight forwarder added.
Another also said: “On a scale of one to ten, I will rank the government two because of the bottlenecks at the port.”
Another embittered freight forwarder also said “I want the government to consider reviewing the taxes and exchange rates.”
The paperless clearing system was started on September 1, 2017, following a directive by the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, that the port authorities automate all processes to reduce human interaction.
The move was aimed at reducing turnaround time for businesses and eliminating corruption.
According to the Vice President revenue increased from GHc130 million in the first week of September 2016, to GHc213 million in the same period for 2017.
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