Government is determined to stay the digital course and modernize the Ghanaian economy despite the challenges.


The Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who made the point at the opening of the 4th Edition of the MOBEX Africa ICT Expo in Accra, last Wednesday, noted that the success of Government’s digitization agenda would largely depend on the concerted efforts of the robustness of the technology and the people implementing it.


Dr Bawiumia noted that while technology had many benefits, it also disrupted the status quo and, therefore, those who benefited from the pre-existing situation, always had an incentive to push back to ensure its failure in order to satisfy their parochial interests.


However, he said, Government was determined to ensure its success and would continue to implement policies, and programmes in the ICT sector to take Ghana to the next level of her development.


Dr Bawumia disclosed that significant progress had been made, citing data from GCNET which indicates that over 40% of containers are cleared within 24 hours and about 70% of containers are cleared within 72 hours, adding that even though the figures were an improvement on past performance, it was still not good enough.


He said it was clear that concerted efforts were being made to circumvent the paperless system both by customs.


“I understand that some officials at the port are demanding documents from importers for stamping. This is ridiculous and should not happen under the new paperless regime. No official should demand from any importer documents (except the Way Bill and Bill of Lading) for stamping or any other purpose during the clearance process. All the relevant documents are online. It is only a ruse for corruption,” Dr Bawumia stated.


He warned operators at the ports to eschew corruption and work hand in hand with the authorities to ensure the success of the paperless port system.


Vice President Bawumia announced that new measures designed to further streamline operations at the ports would take effect next month, following a review of the paperless system and that effective July 1, 2018, the number of agencies undertaking joint inspections at the port would be reduced from 16 to 3.


The three, he said, were the Ghana Standards Authority, Food and Drugs Authority and Customs while National Security or NACOB will join, based on intelligence.


Furthermore, he said, the compliance stage of the clearance process had been abolished, having become redundant under the new system, while the function will be undertaken by the Customs Technical Services Bureau (CTSB).


He disclosed that a Task Force had been established to monitor the implementation of the paperless system at the ports on a daily basis and provide reports for action where bottlenecks arose.


Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)

Created: 18 June 2018
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