…Over Piloting Project @ Port
Ghanaian importers and clearing agents who were at Takoradi port last Friday, February 21, 2020 for the piloting of the UNIPASS system were left disappointed, New Crusading GUIDE was told.
This is because Ghana Link and its overseas partner CUPIA Korea could not demonstrate and successfully pilot their acclaimed newly built superior system.
The paper has it that the clearing agents and customs official were only taken through training on how to use the supposedly new Single Window software being introduced by Nick Danso’s Ghana Link Network Service Limited which they had already gone through several times since 2018 that UNIPASS wanted to take over ports operations.
Many of the agents complained that the system was full of errors, reiterating that the system Ghana Link demonstrated was same as portions of the ones being used by GCNET and West Blue for the same Single Window operations.
This is the second time Ghana Link has failed to successfully pilot its supposedly UNIPASS system at the country’s port.
Ghana Link’s first attempt to test and pilot was at the Aflao border, which failed as many clearing agents attributed the failure to the inferior nature of their system.
Others also claimed Ghana Link had no system and what was demonstrated to them was the same system GCNet and West Blue consulting where using.
It has emerged that Ghana Link and its foreign partner, CUPIA of Korea Customs Service claim that they have a new superior single window system is a mirage.
However, it will rather need Ghana Community Network Service Limited (GCNet) and West Blue Consulting to handover their systems to them before they can start operations.
The paper has it that Trade Ministry, in signing the controversial 10-year sole-sourced contract committed to hand over the GCNet and single window operations to UNIPASS.
This was contained in the Trade Facilitation Agreement made on March 29, 2018, between Government of Ghana, acting through Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ghana Link Services Limited.
This means that without GCNet and West Blue, UNIPASS cannot operate or function.
GCNet Threatens Shut Down
Meanwhile it has been reported in the sections of media that GCNet has threatened to shut down its systems and head straight to court to demand an estimated US$120million in judgment should the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) go ahead to implement the new UNIPASS trade facilitation system at the ports.
The figure includes, among other things, the cost of demobilizing the company’s technological systems and physical infrastructure across the country.
The stance of the company, this paper has gathered, was in response to a letter from a senior government official seeking to buy out GCNet out of their current contract with government, which is due to expire in 2023, in order for GCNet to hand over its tried and tested system to UNIPASS.
“We are currently at the crossroads for doing the unthinkable in the country’s ports; we have invested into so much into technology, created so much employment opportunities and consistently helped to shore up revenue from 2002 till date.
“It does not augur well for a country that is looking for investments, if it cannot respect the sanctity of contracts,” a source said.
The source disclosed that, the moves by UNIPASS is a clear indication that they have no ‘superior system’ but is only seeking to profit from what the two main Single Window service providers, GCNet and WestBlue, have done over the years.