The President of the Freight Forwarders Association of Ghana, Kwabena Ofosu-Appiah has revealed that the government is investigating the circumstances that led to the purchase of the new National Single Window, christened UNI-PASS system.According to him, freight forwarders initially raised the alarm over the supposed new system when they realized that it was a replica of the existing system and merely had a different colour scheme.
He said they called for a probe into the new arrangement and received a note from the Economic Management Team that also ordered an investigation into the deal by the Attorney General.
Kwabena Ofosu-Appiah told Citi News that “We were called on the 19th of December to go see a demonstration of the system and when we went, everything that was demonstrated to us didn’t suggest any new thing and of course it was just the colour scheme that had changed. We were told it was going to start on the 1st January. By 20th we saw a directive from the Economic Management team asked them to suspend the implementation until August. If you read the decision note, the point that has been raised that it must be referred to the Attorney General and the contract must be properly laid before parliament tells you that we were right back then.”
The directive of the Economic Management Team which is led by Ghana’s Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, further explained that the suspension of the implementation was to allow Cabinet more to scrutinize the 10-year sole-sourced Uni-Pass deal.
Meanwhile, the Business and Financial Times newspaper reports that the Economic Management Team has tasked CUPIA of Korea and Ghana Link Network Service to provide a demonstration that they had developed a “Full end to end Customs Technology Solutions Systems, successfully tested, with independent Stress Report and provide a comprehensive implementation plan to the EMT by the end of January 2019”.
The South Korean Customs – UNIPASS Trade Facilitation Tool was expected to be deployed at Ghana’s ports from January 2019 as the national Single Window System with the aim of increasing revenue for the country, but the system has come under attack as allegations of its being cloned has caused the deployment to delay.
Criminal prosecutions may arise from the investigations if the Attorney General finds compelling evidence that the development was due to someone’s negligence of deliberate action.
By: Jonas Nyabor | citinewsroom.com | Ghana