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More details on the selected news and events ...
The Parliamentary Select Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism have expressed satisfaction with the level of work done so far by West Blue Consulting at maximising revenue for the state and reducing delays at the ports. The committee expressed the satisfaction when it paid a working visit to the offices of the company, which is the technical partner of the Ghana National Single Window (GNSW) project.
According to them, they were very impressed with the performance of the West Blue despite the company’s short span on the project which aims among other things at reducing delays at the ports and maximising revenue for the government.
The purpose of the visit was to abreast themselves ofthe operations of the company after the successful implementation of the Pre-Arrival Assessment Reporting System (PAARS) and other key components of the project.
The PAARS is a modernised system that has been developed by the customs division of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) as part of the implementation of the GNSW project to enhance revenue mobilisation, improve border security and customs clearance, overcome duplication across regulatory agencies and promote trade facilitation.
The Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism, Mr Titus Glover, said the committee was impressed with the level of work done by West Blue in the implementation of the GNSW.
He added that “I am very impressed with the zeal of West Blue team to reduce cargo time at the ports and maximising revenue for the development of the country”.
“With this impressive performance, we are going out there to be good ambassadors of the project”, Mr Glover assured the management and staff of the company”, he said.
Mr Glover who is also the Member of Parliament for Tema East urged the management of the company to continue to dialogue with all the stakeholders on the project to ensure success.
Support project to succeed
Mr Fifi Kwetety, Member of the Committee and Member of Parliament for Ketu South in the Volta Region, also thanked the management of the West Blue for its work and stressed the need for Ghanaians to support the project.
Mr Kweku Ricketts Hagan, a former Central Regional Minister and member of the committee, wondered why the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) was not visible in the project.
But the Chief Executive Officer of the West Blue Consulting, Madam Valentina Mintah, explained that; “the project sits in both the MoTI and the Ministry of Finance”.
“They are both on the steering and technical committees. And also import declaration form (IDF) which is first to go live on epayment resides in MoTI”, she added.
Madam Mintah said the technical committee plays a key role and should be strengthened for sustainability of the Ghana National Single Window project.
“Also Customs is the executing body supervised by the Ministry of Finance. The ministry is still more or less policy like the MoTI.”
Earlier, presenting an update and achievements of the GNSW, Madam Mintah said despite the fact that the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) could not meet its revenue target in the first year of the GNSW project implementation last year, it had improved revenue generation.
She added that the project had led to “28.7 percent improvement in GRA-Customs import duties and levies in 2016”.
Since the introduction of the GNSW’s PAARS last year, traders are able to access Customs Classification and Valuation Report (CCVR) within 48 hours, she said adding that, “In some cases, it is done within an hour and that it is substantial improvement from the previous situation whereby it took traders more than a week or two weeks just to get their CCVR”, the CEO stated.
Madam Mintah was quick to add the system has brought some efficiency at the ports, reduced time, reduced corruption, and cost of doing business.
Another significant achievement Madam Mintah mentioned was the country’s historic performance on the recent World Bank’s Ease of Doing rankings.
Ghana had moved an impressive 13 places up on the Trading Across Borders in the latest World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report. The report accredited the performance to the GNSW project initiated by the government.
Economic benefits of GNSW
Madam Mintah explained GNSW project would have a huge impact on the international competitiveness of Ghanaian business and result in a strong growth in the country’s international trade performance.
“It will also significantly increase the global ranking of Ghana in the World Bank’s ‘Trading Across Borders Report’ from the rank of 171 in 2016 to 121 by 2021. Similarly, the ranking within the Sub-Saharan African regions could increase from 36 to 16, all things being equal,” she stated.