The Executive Chairman of Ghana Link Network Services Limited, Nick Danso Adjei, has assured that the solution to plugging the revenue leakage at the country’s various boarders, UNIPASS, would be in full flight in February, this year.
“Customs are happy with where we are so far. The first phase of the CUPIA system has been completed and it is automatic paperless. It is even bigger. Piloting has been done at the various boarders, the Aflao one was fantastic so we would be in full flight this February,” Mr. Nick Danso Adjei told this paper in a telephone interview yesterday.
Currently, banks are hooking onto the system to effect prompt payments for the services accepted within the project.
Under the UNIPASS project, he indicated, that the GRA was due to be in full control of the Single Window System by having access to the operating code of the system and that already, CUPIA has trained officials of the Customs Division of GRA who are training additional 3,000 GRA staff to be deployed across all the boarders of the country, ahead of the commencement of the deal.
According to Nick Danso, “The deployment of UNIPASS will allow thorough revenue generation. It is not a rejected IT software system from Nigeria but a world-class, one developed by CUPIA of South Korea. Figures cannot be changed because it is fool-proof.”
When it becomes fully operational, The UNIPASS would also act as a trade facilitation tool that would be deployed at the country’s ports as the national Single Window System for revenue generation. It being an end-to-end system that would not allow anyone to tamper with figures, as was the case with the previous systems, it is expected to rake in more revenue for the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
Giving that for over twenty years (20), those in charge of revenue generation for government could not plug the leakage at the ports, the Ministry of Trade sought Ghana Link Network and its international partners, CUPIA of South Korea Customs Services, as better replacement to operate the Single Window System.
It would be recalled that Ghana Link was awarded a 10-year contract by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to operate the new application. It had paid over $40 million for the UNIPASS software, and was expected to provide a much improved ‘end-to-end’ single window service.
CUPIA of South Korea has consistently been ranked among the top 10 on the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Ranking on the Trading across Borders criteria because of the UNIPASS system. It has impacted positively on the economic growth of South Korea.
It was for this reason that the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) entered into a contractual agreement with Messrs Ghana Link Network Services Limited to deploy UNIPASS Customs Technology to help provide a comprehensive national single window platform in Ghana to rake in more revenue for the GRA.
Under the deal, the new operator is scheduled to build a data warehouse where it will keep records of importers under the current system; this paper is informed that there is no data warehouse for keeping track of importers.