UNIPASS Not In Sierra Leone

GHANA LINK Network Services Limited has indicated that it has never operated a single window contract with the Sierra Leonean Government as being alleged in media reports.

The company, which is spearheading the Ghana National Single Window (GNSW) with the deployment of the UNIPASS software at the country’s ports, said though it signed a single window contract with Sierra Leone in 2018, it never implemented it.

According Ghana Link, it only undertook destination inspection in that country but not a single window contract as was being dubiously alleged by Franklin Cudjoe’s IMANI Africa.

Ghana Link was responding to an allegation by policy think tank IMANI, which created the impression that it did not have a good record in Sierra Leone; and therefore government should rethink its decision to entrust its revenue mobilizing function at the ports to UNIPASS, which had contract with Ghana Link.

Government’s contract with Ghana Link is for UNIPASS to provide a comprehensive national single window platform to collect more revenue for the country.

Ghana Link said IMANI could have verified this information well instead of dwelling on false information to arrive at its position.

IMANI had petitioned President Akufo-Addo to consider circumstances that led to the termination of a contract between Ghana Link’s African Link Inspection Company and the Sierra Leonean Government a couple of weeks ago.

It alleged, among other things, that African Link Inspection Company Limited (ALIC), a subsidiary of Ghana Link, evaded tax and failed to deliver to expectation hence the abrogation of its contract by Sierra Leonean authorities.

President Okays UNIPASS Deal

However, President Akufo-Addo has already given Ghana Link Network Services Limited the go-ahead to deploy UNIPASS software at all the country’s revenue points including the ports.

The President met with the team working on the UNIPASS system last Tuesday and encouraged them to work harder to make the system tamper-proof since the existing systems were susceptible to tampering and caused heavy revenue leakage.

The new custom-made software was manufactured with the assistance of Korea’s Customs Agency and was highly tipped to help rake in more revenue for government because of the end to end benefit.

The current systems operated by GCNet and West Blue Consulting were being phased out.
The UNIPASS system is an automatically paperless solution, which fits into Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia’s digitization agenda for the Ghanaian economy.

Executive Chairman of Ghana Link Network Services Limited, Nick Danso Adjei, commenting on the solution noted, “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.”

Furthermore, he said under the UNIPASS deal, the GRA is due to be in full control of the Single Window System by having access to the operating pass code.

Franklin Cudjoe, who appears to be fronting for the two companies whose contracts government is dispensing with, claims if UNIPASS takes over the revenue monitoring at the ports, the gains made under the current administration would suffer.

“Sustaining this impressive record, however, requires policy predictability and coherence in the dispensation of regulatory mandates of the Ministries of Trade & Industry and Finance & Economic Planning. This expectation remains doubtful as the two ministries are bent on replacing the more reliable existing customs and ports technologies with a more expensive one called UNI-PASS.

In March 2018, Ghana Link Network Services Limited, in collaboration with Customs UNI-PASS International Agency (CUPIA) of Korea Customs Services, was contracted by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to deploy UNI-PASS software to the ports system for a period of 10 years.

Ghana indicated that it had never operated single window in Sierra Leone under its agreement with that country’s government and that the destination inspection contract abrogated was being challenged at the highest level in that country.

BY Samuel Boadi