The Executive Chairman of the Ghana Community Network Limited (GCNet), Dr. Nortey Omaboe says they remain committed to partnering government of Ghana in pursuance of a strong path of promoting innovation in information technology which will go a long way to contribute to the transformation of the country’s economy.According to him, digitisation has a critical role to play in the realisation of Ghana’s development agenda, hence the need for all key players in the industry to take advantage of this phenomenon to foster more collaboration and provide support for each other.
“We have always placed a very high premium on technology, on innovation and service delivery with invested significant results into our people. Quality of our service offerings and private partnership and their main focus it to service the government of Ghana with key solution and to impact the Ghanaian economy positively,” he stated. Dr. Nortey Omaboe made this known at the world summit Awards forum organised by GCNet which brought a group of experts to revenue innovation projects in Ghana and across the world.He also lauded the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) for revoking the licenses of some freight forwarders adding that malfeasance by the freight forwarders is set back from the country’s desire to achieve a seamless paperless system.
“The laws are there and you have to comply. When you disregard the laws and believe that you can get away because they are connected or know people, or from a particular party, these things do not conform well with the whole process of revenue collection,” he said.Lauding the Authority for their efforts, he advised players in the industry to comply with the laws of the land so their businesses will thrive. The Minister for Environment, Science and Technology, Professor Frimpong Boateng on his part said the poverty gap is a technology gap and no country can grow without the capacity to manufacture.“I have never seen a country that have develop without the capacity to manufacture things and us we think about the digital lets also think about the physical because when you extract your gold, diamond and manganese and want to dig for oil you use physical means and machines for that”.
The Anlo traditional area has become an area on interest for the Ghana ports and harbours authority. This is as a result of the impending construction of a third sea port by the Port Authority.The Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah has led the Board of GPHA to storm the Awomefia palace to thank the chief and people of the area for their support for the impending Keta Port construction.“Now there is a formal relationship that is going to keep the growth between GPHA which is under his ministry and the Anlo state because I have made you aware subsequently and today GPHA wants, under His excellence president of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to partner the private sector to contract the keta Port,”It will be recalled that, GPHA has entered into a MoU with Diamond Cement for the construction of a third Port in Keta.The Keta port when completed, would serve the people of the Keta Traditional area with a modern infrastructure which would expand trade and commerce in the region.The Minister of Transport said the Keta Port was crucial on the agenda of the government and that processes are underway to make the Anlo area a port area.“The President have issued that is called the executive instrument that, this area has been demarcated for the contraction of the port, the process is ongoing and we have given the “ER” to the attorney general is gazetting it then it becomes a Port area which the Anlo people indeed dedicated this land for the constitution,” he revealed.He commended the Awomefia for his commitment to the project by demarcating a land for the construction of the project.“Thank you for your leadership shown to make sure the project is indeed coming to life; we can sit down without coming to you to thank you for the way you demonstrated of your leadership.” The Awomefia of the Anlo State who is the Overlord of the Anlo Traditional Area, Togbui Sri III thanked the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority under the auspices of the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, for bringing this developmental initiative to the municipality.He said, the Keta port would add to the employment GPHA’s lighthouse in Keta already provides for the town. “If the Harbour is built it will provide employment for our young men who are unemployed to get employment, also open the place for tourist attraction.” Earlier, the Board Chairman of GPHA, Peter Mac Manu led the board and management of GPHA to pay a courtesy call on the Awomefia of the Anlo State.The visit was to commemorate the marking of the Hogbetsotso festival.GPHA, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibilities, donated some bottles of schnapps, cartons of soft drinks, beer, bottled water, and some money to support the celebration of the festival.
The Marine Police and Railways Unit of the Ghana Police Service, has taken delivery of a retrofitted marine patrol boat built by Benlex Engineering and Marine Systems to aid its sea patrol activities.The patrol boat belonging to the Marine Police unit, had been dysfunctional for some time and the CEO of Vision 2000, chose to sponsor the repair works.The Inspector General of Police, David Asante-Appeatu revealed at a handing over ceremony that the boat has been tested, and is in great shape to commence its patrol duties. “Let me say very big thanks to the engineers who built the boat and that is Benlex engineering company, the test result according to our marine police officers indicate the professional work done,” he expressed. He said, the collaboration between the Benlex Engineering and the Ghana Police is going to continue because the Police Service are in the process of procuring new boats to better equip the service to ensure security on Ghana’s territorial waters.“We hope that this collaboration will take us far because there is more to be retrofitted and more boat to be built. And it’s my prayer and hope that we continue this collaboration to ensure effective law enforcement both onshore and offshore environment.”
The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) has urged government to continue to boost security on the country’s territorial waters by investing in a state of the art maritime technology and the provision of surveillance equipment for the agencies responsible for securing Ghana’s maritime borders.The Vice President of CILT, Samuel Alphonse Attibah said this at workshop organized by CILT to review maritime Security in Ghana’s territorial waters.He said with efforts underway to expand Tema and Takoradi ports into bigger international sea ports, there is the need for Ghana’s territorial waters to be safeguarded to be able to accommodate the increase in cargo volumes.“Ghana’s maritime borders could be described generally as well secured and all thanks to the security agencies who have worked hard to keep it safe but we can’t be rest assured. It requires us to maintain this good reputation and improve upon it,” he said.The Deputy Harbor Master for Operations at the Port of Tema, Stephen Senanni said the Port Authority is doing everything possible to curb the menace of stowaway in order not to dent the image of the Authority.“We are trying to see how best to arrest it in other to prevent it from happening at all, because along the port it’s a major problem, where they hid in empty contains being transport from depots outside the ports, and they have been able to work on that which have prevent stole ways for some time now.” The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport says it will continue to lead the way in generating a national dialogue among its professional members on the role of maritime security towards building a safe, sustainable and prosperous country.
Meanwhile, the various stakeholders who play a part in the paperless clearance chain, presented accounts of their inputs as well as challenges faced so far.The Marketing and Corporate Affairs Manager of GPHA, Esther Gyebi-Donkor said the introduction of paperless has eliminated the Tema Port revenue center, which housed a lot of daunting paper transactions, giving birth to an online platform integrated with service providers and allied banks, which has gone a long way to improve the ease of doing business.“Customers are happy for avoiding these huge queues before making payments and the financial aspect to this is that, it has been beneficial to Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and increased our revenue,” she said. She indicated however, that the lack of uniformity with the manifest of shipping lines as well as complications with the JIMIS have been major challenges to GPHA’s services. She expressed faith that collaborations with stakeholders would ensure an adequate remedy is put in place.“Lack of uniformity and details in the manifest provided by shipping lines, this an issue the Vice President has taken up, committees have worked on it, some people have gone to Dubai to get the new system of manifest that we should all use to help the system. There was some testing by custom and they had to do other things for us to get the perfect manifest to be used,” she revealed. The Accra Connexion Sector Commander of the Customs Division of GRA, Emmanuel Ohene, said the Vice President’s directive of the mandatory joint examination, has been successful which has sped up the clearance process. He also noted that the electronic submission of documents through the PAARS has made transactions more efficient and improved error detection. “The area of error detection has also improved and Customs now have been able to detect errors because of the documents that are submitted to us electronically and this is facilitating our audit trails and investigative procedures,” he said. Service providers, West blue and GC-Net said they have collaborated with Customs and GPHA to provide a seamless clearance flow, while possessing a robust risk management system. “There is a risk management system which seeks to run a heuristic of all the things that the importer is doing, the people involved in the process, the products that are coming in, the processes that have been followed. We want to encourage and reward good behavior while picking out those who might not have been doing things exactly the way it ought to be done”, a West Blue official disclosed. “If you look at the clear Focus, you looking at the declaration processing, the permit license and exemption which had to be completely paperless, you also have to look at the custom side of things, where Custom suddenly does not ask anybody to bring papers, everything had to be looked at in the custom management system, your payment of duties and taxes which is electronic so there many channels for importers to pay the duties and taxes”, Carl Sackey , Product Development Manager of MPS said. Adam Imoro Ayarna, Ship Owners Association of Ghana, said paperless has increased turnaround time of vessels, and the overall stress involved in dealing with customers has reduced significantly.“Traffic in our offices have reduced comparatively. Before if we have many people coming into our offices, now we have far less, which is a relief to us and I am sure to our customers also because they can sit in their offices and spend time doing other things than just coming to wait. Demurrage and waiver requests have also reduced,” he shared. The leadership of GUTA expressed pleasure in the paperless system, noting that there is still room to improve.Yaw Kyei, President of ACHAG, said the paperless has improved the work of freight forwarders.“Paperless Project System is one singular reform that has transformed holistically the work of the Freight Forwarder while anxiously waiting for some of the above recommendations to be put to place to seal the loop holes, we commend the government for the bold step taken towards such transformation,” he said. The Deputy Minister of Transport, Daniel Titus Glover, who graced the occasion, expressed satisfaction towards the efforts the stakeholders have put in since the implementation of the paperless initiative. He urged them to continue to exhibit high level of integrity in the discharge of their duties. “If you want this country to develop, if you want Shippers’ Authority to protect you, the shippers, you need to exhibit integrity and transparency in your dealings.”