The Ministry of Finance has directed the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to apply appropriate sanctions against those who will abuse the National Single Window System.
Seth Terkper, Finance Minister, who made this known at the opening of a four-day national single window stakeholder’s conference yesterday in Accra, said the directive was to help improve efficiency in the implementation of the system.
He lauded the success of the phase one of the single window project, adding that the project, when fully implemented, will boost trade facilitation by harmonizing, standardizing, simplifying and above all creating a more transparent trade regime in Ghana through the deployment of ICT.
According to the Finance Minister, the net benefit of the single window project extends beyond revenue mobilization, stating “It will help facilitate trade and help reduce the cost of doing business in Ghana.”
The Minister disclosed that the full implementation of the national single window project will take off in December 2016 after all the processes and measures have been put in place.
Challenges of Gov’t
Mr Terkper said one of the main challenges facing government is how to integrate the Ghanaian economy in way that gradually increases the share of an expanding world trade.
“If Ghana and most developing countries are to increase their share of international trade, it must significantly change prevailing status quo on both the export and import side…and here we are not talking about just customs processes but the export led strategy which government launched with its budget.”
Need For Collaboration
George Blankson, Commissioner-General of GRA, in his remarks, said the system provides practical means of improving border clearance performance, thereby making trade easy.
“It will be a reality when all individual agencies collaborate to achieve this collective goal of ensuring that our country threads on the right path of rapid development,” he said.
Mr. Blankson said to continue to build a sustainable National Single Window environment, all agencies- both public and private- must be fully involved whilst a feasibility study has to be put in place so as to know roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders to create a realistic framework for the future.
Dignitaries at the opening of the conference included Dzifa Ativor, Minister of Transport, Fifi Kwetey, Minister of Food and Agriculture, Ebo Barton-Oduro, Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Valentino Mintah, CEO of West Blue and John Vianney Kuudamnuru, Acting Commissioner Customs Division.
By Cephas Larbi