Mr. Michael Awuah, the 1st vice-chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Japan branch has hit hard at those preventing the smooth take-over and running of the ports and harbors by UNIPASS, a project spearheaded by Ghana Link Service Ltd. in conjunction with Customs UNIPASS International Agency (CUPIA), of the Korean Customs Service.The UNIPASS system incorporates clearance, cargo and information management systems as well as an administration system.
It is a new port clearing system that processes documents and payments through a single window. In the era of digitalization, it makes sense to provide paperless service at the port to avoid the number of hour’s importers waste in clearing their goods.
Contrary to what has been published and said by some unscrupulous people connected to GCNet and West Blue Consulting that Ghana Link Service lacks the experience to operate in Ghana, Mr. Awuah said that to the best of his knowledge and experience as an expert in the shipping industry, the company has worked in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone among others with success.
He indicated that the contract with the other African countries was not abrogated as speculated, but rather came to an end as agreed in the contract signed between the various African governments and the Ghana Link Service Ltd.
He said the claim that Africa Link, a subsidiary of Ghana Link Ltd., accumulated an unpaid tax liability of about 45 billion Leones is unfounded and palpable lies.
“A patriotic African company with such repute would never mess up with its tax obligation,” he stressed.
He said it is unreasonable to defend the position of having three vendors providing the same services to the Customs division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, GCNet, West Blue and CTN.
Mr. Awuah believes that the controversy raised after the Ministry of Trade and Industry gave the green light to UNIPASS is needless and unprofessional on the part of those who are behind the controversy.
He indicated that the introduction of UNIPASS is expected to make a one-stop-shop through the Ghana National Single Window.
Mr. Awuah supported his argument with the endorsement by the Chamber of Freight and Trade who has described the Government’s introduction of UNIPASS as a masterstroke that aims at eliminating the use of old-fashioned paperwork at the port.
“It makes no sense to have three vendors in a small country like Ghana and therefore the bringing in a single vendor would not only save the country’s money and trade facilitation but also save importers of the increased taxation and reduced the number of hours spent at the various ports,” said the 1st Vice Chairman of the ruling party.
He has, therefore, advised those behind the unprofessional behavior to desist from it and pave way for the implementation of a paperless port for the benefit of all in the country.