UNIPASS, the Single Window Operation company that is coming on board to rake in revenue for the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) at the various ports and points of entry in the country was well grilled and scrutinized by government before the decision to bring the company on board was made.
The whole process to have UNIPASS as part of the Single Window Operation started in 2015 when the promoters approached the government at that time to sell its unique system that would help in revenue generation from the ports and points of entry.
It is not therefore true and right for anybody to suggest that the UNIPASS deal was cooked in recent time.
UNIPASS will start operations tentatively on March 1, 2020 after rigorous piloting exercise at the ports and points of entry.
The promoters of UNIPASS are Ghana Link Services and its partners, CUPIA Korea Customs Services.
The 10-year contract was between the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) and UNIPASS after the government, through the Ministry of Finance, and other state agencies were fully satisfied that the company would help plug loopholes in the revenue affairs at the ports.
Originally, the UNIPASS project should have become operational in 2019, but the Economic Management Team (EMT) pulled the stoppers for all the loose ends to be tidied up.
The EMT insisted that UNIPASS should roll out systems that were swift and advanced more than the existing ones at the ports and points of entry and the company did exactly that.
Before the company set out to pilot the project, it trained about a thousand of the personnel of the Customs Division of the GRA on the system it had deployed.
Apart from that, some officials of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Trade and Industry have also been trained to be conversant with the UNIPASS systems deployed.
In addition, staff workers of some selected banks that would be part of the new robust Single Window Operation have also been trained.
Importers and freight-forwarders with business interests at the various ports have so far embraced the new UNIPASS system as it was piloted.
According to them, the systems deployed by the promoters of UNIPASS were very swift and would help in fast-tracking their dealings at various ports and points of entry.
The systems deployed by UNIPASS were on test trials but freight-forwarders, importers and other stakeholders with interests at the ports had already praised UNIPASS for preparing well before embarking on the trials of its system.
It took the company over one and half years to prepare and run various checks on its hardware and systems before rolling them out.
Importers and freight-forwarders who chanced on the test trials at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) and the Tema Port were fully convinced that the UNIPASS systems would aid their activities to perfection.