The operators of UNIPASS say reports suggesting that their contract in Sierra Leone has been terminated are just deliberate attempts to undermine their work in Ghana.
The local partners, Ghana Link Network Services Limited has rather clarified that the said abrogated contract was for its subsidiary, Africa Link Inspection Company which offers destination inspection services in Sierra Leone.
Speaking to Citi News, Head of operations at the Ghana Link Network Services Limited, Raymond Amaglo maintained that UNIPASS has never had any business in Sierra Leone hence such rumours should be disregarded.
“The truth of the matter is that UNIPASS isn’t operating in Sierra Leone. UNIPASS is operating in a number of African Countries but not Sierra Leone. There is a subsidiary of Ghana Link called African Link and they are operating destination inspection in Sierra Leone, not a single window. The contract is the contract that has been cancelled in Sierra Leone for various reasons. The people who are doing this are very much aware that Ghana Link in partnership with our technical partners in Korea is delivering the UNIPASS in Ghana. So once they have heard that Ghana Link affiliate has an issue in Sierra Leone, they want to muddy the waters. We are in this way thinking this is impersonal and targeting whatever we want to do,” he said.
The UNIPASS International Agency (CUPIA) of Korea Customs Services and its local partner, Ghana Link Network Services Limited, have been contracted to implement a National Single Window in collaboration with Customs for trade facilitation.
The existing GcNet platform has the Ghana Integrated Cargo Clearance System (GICCS) and the Ghana Customs Management System (GCMS) on it.
The GcNet contract ends in 2023 while the West Blue contract expires in 2020.
GcNET eventually trained over 100 companies at the time as it rolled out its system.
The Ghana Insititute of Freight Forwarders had earlier insisted that the early signs of the move were not encouraging.
For example, the rollout of the UNIPASS single window system at the country’s ports could not come off as expected at Elubo in the Western Region because freight forwarders were abruptly asked to present their names for training on the new system.
But, President of the Chamber of Freight Forwarders and Traders, Dennis Amfo Sefa expects freight forwarders to warm up to the idea of the UNIPASS single window system at the country’s ports.
Just like how the Ghana Community Network System (GcNet) took over the country’s ports in 2002, Mr. Sefa said the UNIPASS system should be allowed time to develop.
“We were all over the place. We did not understand why the government wanted to change the system that we had [at the time to GcNET] because it was perfect and it was working. We were also complaining that we had not been trained,” he recalled in Citi TV‘s The Point of View on Monday, March 9, 2020.
“So it takes time. There is no way freight forwarders will embrace change without friction,” he added.