Former Deputy Trade Minister Urges Government to Abrogate UNIPASS Deal
A former Deputy Minister for Trade, Murtala Mohammed has asked the government to abrogate the UNIPASS deal as it is not serving its purpose for which it was introduced.
According to him, the new platform introduced by the government at various ports is causing more harm than good.
Speaking to an Accra-based radio station, Murtala suggested to the government to abrogate the deal as it is clear the unrest it is causing at various ports in the country.
“Let me say that the arrangement government has with UNIPASS whether a contract or stakeholder – and the chaos that we are witnessing at the various ports and destinations – it is very clear that this particular contractual arrangement is a disaster. If this government has some credibility, I think that they should back off because it simply doesn’t make sense to anybody,” he said.
He further mentioned that there is no need for the government to introduce a new system considering the successes and gains made by GCNet and West Blue.
“GCNet and West Blue are doing a tremendous job so why will you even think of bringing in a private entity? It means all the successes we have chalked over the years will be thrown away. The Ministry of Trade and the government should tell us what their interest is. The only interest I think is material gains. I have seen a memo in which the Minister of Finance is talking about what they have done. It is a subject for investigations. Let’s go and check if UNIPASS has the credibility to do what the government is asking them to do.”
“You don’t need anybody to tell you that this UNIPASS arrangement is a disaster because of the failures we are witnessing at the port,” he added.
Freight Forwarders Demand UNIPASS Suspension
Some freight forwarders in Takoradi on Thursday, May 7, 2020 picketed at the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority offices in Takoradi to demand for the suspension of the UNIPASS system which they say has been problematic for their operations.
According to them, the new system is causing many problems for them than the previous system.
A freight forwarder in Takoradi, Henderson McCarthy, laments on the problem the new system is causing.
“All we are saying is that if I have a machine that I’m working with and it takes me ten minutes to do a job and you bring me a new one and a better machine in this 21st Century but this machine is going to take me three hours to do the same job, then what are we talking about? Are you taking me back or into the future? The government has to take a look at this. We the importers and the clearing agents in Takoradi are not happy. It is taking us long to clear, it is taking us more time and more cost,” he said.