Turf War At Ports!
As Bawumia’s Paperless Ports Come Under Threat
There seems to be a turf war at the ports as Trade Ministry’s Customs Management System (UNIPASS) single window battles to kick out Customs World Dubai and GCNet from the port.
The situation which is creating a lot of confusion at the port among stakeholders and importers threatens the Vice President’s paperless agenda which seeks to integrate all the systems at the port for efficient trade.
The Ministry of Trade awarded the 10-year third single window contract to Ghana Link Network Services Limited with its overseas partner, CUPIA Korea Customs Service without recourse to due process and competitive tendering.
There was also no stakeholder engagement or consultation prior to the awarding of the 10-year sole sourced third single window contract to Ghana Link.
Shockingly, Ghana Link and its overseas partner are going to earn 0.75 percent of total proceeds at the port which is extremely higher than what the existing vendors are receiving.
Despite the fact that a current deputy Minister of Trade, Carlos Ahenkorah is reported to have said that Ghana is too small to have two single window operators at the port, the Ministry has gone ahead to sign a third single window with Nick Danso’s Ghana Link.
The sole sourced contract signed on March 29, 2018 is to provide a trade facilitation and Customs Management System (UNIPASS) which the two existing vendors, Dubai Customs (West Blue Consulting) and GCNet are already providing at the ports.
The new company, Ghana Link with support from the Trade Ministry plans to kick out Dubai Customs and GCNet and take absolute control over the ports in the country.
Nana-Dubai Customs Meeting
Ghana Link is bent on taking over the ports in spite of the fact that President Akufo-Addo and Dr. Bawumia recently held a discussion with a delegation of Customs World Dubai at the Jubilee House to deploy their enviable world class system at Ghana’s ports.
The Customs World delegation promised to replicate the Dubai model in Ghana which will in the future plug leakages at the ports and increase governments revenue as well as reduce transaction time at the port drastically.
The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia in his remarks also expressed delight that Customs World Dubai would help manage Ghana’s ports and make it one of the best in Africa.
Meanwhile, the UNIPASS system that Ghana Link wants to deploy with its overseas partners, CUPIA Korea Customs Service is nowhere near what Customs World Dubai are underway to deploy at Ghana’s ports.
This has raised concerns among stakeholders at the ports, questioning the reason behind the Trade Ministry’s decision to sign another single window contract if not for someone’s parochial interest.
They wonder why government would want to abandon business with a world class Customs World Dubai that already has a contract with government through West Blue Consulting and are all over the world with enviable track record and rather opt for CUPIA Korea Customs Service that nobody knows anything about.
UNIPASS-Dubai Customs Comparison
A statement released recently by Ghana Link touting UNIPASS, South Korean Customs Management System credentials, said the company has connected more than 430,000 entities, and more than 40 government agencies in Korea.
The statement could not emphatically name which countries the South Korean Customs operates in, which Ghana can use as a case study.
Customs World Dubai In 40 Countries
Customs World, under the Ports Customs Free Zones Corporation founded DP World is currently present in 40 countries and 78 ports around the world including Australia, United States of America, United Kingdom, France, Korea, Canada, Belgium, Indonesia, Thailand, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, India among others.
DP World is ranked one of the Top Container Port Services Worldwide, operating over 60 terminals across six continents, with container handling generating around 80% of its revenue.
In addition, the company currently has 11 new developments and major expansions underway in so many countries.