Stakeholders operating at Ghana’ ports and in charge of revenue generation are observing with worry as the New Patriotic Party (NPP) led-government toys with the perilous idea of disrupting operations at the country’s ports in a way that could result in a loss of revenue, all in a quest to please a few party friends who are bent on introducing yet another company to be a single window operator.
This new company being pushed in as a new operator was same that was awarded a 10-year sole sourced contract on the blind side of Cabinet, an incident that gave a lot of bad publicity and perception to government.
What has shocked observers with disappointment is the fact that despite the claim from the new company, UNIPASS, that it has a better and superior software and system than the existing operators, that claim is yet to be proven or demonstrated to the relevant stakeholders both in and outside government.
The claim of a superior system has been challenged by several industry experts and it is in serious doubts.
It has remained a mere verbal claim that is being touted to be true although there are records to show it is false and one of the current operators is on record to have gone to court because it believes the new company, UNIPASS, has plagiarized a portion of its system.
Even more shocking is the fact that the new company has not fully met a request by the Economic Management Team (EMT) that it should provide a demonstration that they had developed a full end to end Customs Technology Solutions Systems that has been successfully tested, with independent Stress Report.
Despite the absence of the independent Stress Report, the absence of the demonstration that the new company has developed a full end to end CTSS that has been independently tested and despite the fact that the new company has not been tried anywhere in the country, it has managed to convince some people in government that it has a superior system and therefore is fit to take over from the existing operators.
Considering the high sensitivity of the nature work at the ports, this is perhaps, a clear example of an impending albatross that would haunt its propellers unless the requisite due diligence and all pre take off prerequisites are met.
It is difficult to understand how such a fast one was pulled key financial experts in government including the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, Senior Minister Yaw Osarfo Marfo, Vice President Dr. Bawumia amongst others were all made to believe that the supposed new company was coming on board with a SUPERIOR system when indeed it was still building its untried and untested system.
Ghana’s recent political history has proven that one of the key causes of incumbents loosing political power to opposition parties is the attempt to please and satisfy supposed friends and thereby closing an eye to allow a wrong go unpunished or compromising on standards and this is the exact dilemma.
DIVISIONS OVER UNIPASS
It has become public knowledge that the quest of one man to introduce UNIPASS as a third company to join the existing Single Window operators existing is causing some internal discord along the corridors of power and among some top level party big names especially when there are genuine concerns it could disrupt all the major reforms at Ghana’s ports introduced by the Economic Management Team to block leakages in government revenue.
It is also significant to note that government is making a concerted effort to reduce the number of hands and institutions as well as processes of clearing cargo at Ghana’s ports and is on record to have highly commended the current single window operators as having helped in this regard.
It therefore opens government up to mockery that the same government is seen to be introducing an entirely new company, UNIPASS, to the port to start operations in the single window and cargo clearing jobs.
The newly introduced winning strategy at the ports was making Ghana an envy to the world until the Ministry of Trade which someone offered a 10-year sole sourced contract to Nick Danso’s Ghana Link and its overseas partners, CUPIA Korea Customs Service as a third Single Window operator and possibly take over from the existing vendors using all means available.
Nick Danso has been in the thick of affairs get the UNIPASS deal through although the development has raised eyebrows among stakeholders and sparked some diplomatic discomfiture for the country. – MORE SOON –
SOURCE: Day Break