Vice President Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia’s on-going paperless reforms at the ports is about to suffer a major setback in January, 2019 as Ghana Link and its overseas partner, CUPIA Korea Customs Service (UNIPASS) are set to take over the operations of single window at the country’s port.
UNIPASS is starting operations next year in spite of unrelenting efforts by stakeholders to let government see the negative impact the decision of handing over the port operations to the South Korean company will have on revenue generation and the on-going paperless reforms at the ports.
According to the paper’s sources, the South Korea Company, which has been awarded a 10-year sole sourced contract by the government of Ghana under the Ministry of Trade is expected to begin operations on January 1, 2019 even though there are no signs of their readiness and stakeholders have not been properly briefed.
This means that by January 1, 2019 West Blue and GCNet systems will be unplugged and will no more be operating at the port in spite of the successes the two companies have chalked for Ghana since it started operating single window.
Disruptions At Port
The UNIPASS takeover will disrupt and undermine the Vice President’s on-going paperless port reforms which has as so far improved government’s revenue substantially.
The takeover will also disrupt port activities which will cause government of Ghana to lose millions of dollars to the state.
This is because the existing vendors would have to unplug their systems by December 31, 2018 to allow for the new system to come in place January 1, 2019.
Another big challenge is the training of Customs officials on how to operate the new system; training for stakeholders to understand how the new system works; and the errors that comes with operating such a new system before it reaches it smooth operating level which takes years.
Ghanaians To Pay US$180M
The takeover of single window operations from West Blue Consulting and GCNet will cost the tax payers more money.
The South Korea's customs agency said in a recent publication that the 10-year deal it has signed with Ghana to deploy its single window system at the country’s port cost US$40 million.
Ghana Link with its overseas partners, CUPIA Korea Customs Service will provide the trade facilitation and Customs Management System at a 0.75 percent fee (FOB) per their 10-year sole sourced contract with Ministry of Trade.
This means that Ghanaian importers will be paying about US$180 million at the end of their 10-year contract with Ghana based on the current import volumes.
The big question many stakeholders are asking is that who is going to pocket the US$140 million, if not the owner of Ghana Link, Nick Danso and his cronies who pushed UNIPASS down the throat of President Akufo-Addo and his Vice, Dr. Bawumia.
The outrageous figure is extremely higher than what the existing vendors, West Blue and GCNet are currently receiving as a fee.
West Blue Consulting with its overseas partner, Customs World Dubai currently earns only 0.28 percent, which is less than half of UNIPASS’ 0.75 percent fees.
GCNet earns 0.4 percent. So, the two existing vendors providing single window operations in Ghana together are taking 0.68 percent which is far below what UNIPASS is going to take (0.75 percent).
Source: New Crusading Guide
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