Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Kwaku Agyemang Kwarteng, says the UNIPASS single window port system has come to stay and that Government will not succumb to any pressure from the Importers and clearing Agents in the country to review the deal.
“Nobody should think that the various criticisms will make government change its mind, it won’t happen”, he stated.
The Deputy Minister said this in response to the criticism that has characterized the new UNIPASS single window port system.
He has, therefore, asked them to be circumspective in their utterances against the UNIPASS system.
The UNIPASS, deal has been met with a lot of criticism from freight forwarders, stakeholders and civil society groups in the country.
UNIPASS was initially to takeover the Ghanaian port in 2019. However, due to the criticism by stakeholders about the capacity of the company to effectively manage the single window system the deal was suspended to this year.
This move was to buy time for UNIPASS, that is, Ghana Link and its overseas partner, CUPIA Korea, to demonstrate the superior value and integrity of their technology to all concerned stakeholders.
Following this, the Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo Marfo, in a letter dated 5 December, 2019, directed the Ghana Community Network Service Limited (GCNet) and West Blue Consulting, the managers of the single window port system to hand over to UNIPASS.
Aside from this, the Senior Minister, again, in a letter dated 26th February, directed the Freight Forwarders and Clearing Agents to use the UNIPASS system to clear their goods, beginning from March 1, this year.
But these directives seem not to have gone done well with Importers and Clearing Agents. Additionally, some civil society groups, particularly Imani Africa, are still up in arms against the new system.
They maintain that the new system is untested and therefore cannot run single window at the ports.
The President of Imani Africa has, for instance, described the deal as fraudulent, adding it will disrupt the paperless port system which was introduced some years ago to engender ease of doing business at the port.
Recently, the Importer and Clearing Agent registered their displeasure over the UNIPASS takeover at the port
Stop behaving like opposition parties
However, Mr Kwarteng, says he chided the behavior of the Importers and Clearing Agents relative to the UNIPASS brouhaha.
He further asked them to stop behaving like Political parties in opposition.
“if you start criticizing it; moving from one radio station to the other, you are behaving like an opposition party”, he said.