Paperless port improves cargo clearance – Import and Export Association

Tema,- Mr Samson Awingobit Asaki, Executive Secretary, Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, has affirmed that the implementation of the paperless port system at Ghana’s ports has allowed shippers to clear cargo in real-time without delays.

According to him, the paperless system was transformational and had improved the clearance of cargo in a matter of hours unlike before when it took a week or more to clear.

He said the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) introduced by the government had significantly eased the difficulties hitherto faced by importers and exports in the discharge of goods at the port.

Speaking on the Tema Ghana News Agency- “Industrial News Hub Boardroom Dialogue,” Mr Asaki said the online system, digitally managed, had transformed the country’s trade facilitation remarkably in eradicating the multiple routes for payments and ensuring a seamless process.

“With the new system, I can tell you, within two to three days, you can clear your cargo at the port, and ICUMS is superb,” he emphasized.

He said the ICUMS systems was a reality and the system had brought speedy processing, classification and valuation of cargo, explaining that, for instance, the processing of bill of entry had become effortless than before.

“Import process is done digitally capturing all relevant import information on a database, sometimes including; the movement of containers, when they arrive in the country’s port among others,” he said.

Mr Asaki said traders could obtain required import licenses, permits and certificates before arrival of goods and pay fees and other administrative charges without having to engage prospective defrauders.

He explained that, “with the education we are carrying out, you can pay duty even when containers are on high seas or confirm payments remotely when Agents tell you how much you are expected to pay in terms of duty by just going online to input your Bill of Entry number to make payments.”

Mr Asaki said it had helped a great deal in preventing the payment of demurrage –a charge payable by an owner of goods in a container for failing to discharge or clear it beyond the allowable period of seven days.

Mr Francis Ameyibor, Tema Regional Manager of the GNA, on his part said the Industrial Board Room Dialogue platform was created for stakeholders to reach out to the world on the issues in their respective sectors.

He said it was not enough for the media to only draw near to industry players to react to their stories or when there was bad news about them and therefore the reason for the creation of the platform.

Mr Ameyibor said it was common knowledge that a lot of things happened at sea and in the fishing industry that the public needed more enlightenment on and therefore engaging the GTA was apt.

He said activities on the sea was dynamic but under-reported from the media and the agency would offer stakeholders news channel to reach out to the world.

Mr Ameyibor noted that GNA Tema office branded as the Industrial News Hub, seeks to help fill ocean news gap, the need for better reporting on sea and fisheries issues, as life on the sea affects the general livelihood people as the level of consumption of fish in the country is large.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Transform mining sector through effective partnerships – MIIF Board told

Accra,- Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister for Finance, has tasked the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) Board to transform the mining sector through effective partnerships and alliances.

He said the move would help create jobs, boost economic growth and support the country’s transformation agenda of a Ghana Beyond Aid.

The Minister gave the task during the inauguration of the reconstituted Board of MIIF consistent with the requirements of the Minerals Income Investment Fund (Act 978) as amended.

He said in the past two years the government tasked the Board to deliver a strong MIIF to support the long-term developmental agenda, build Ghana’s capacity and transform minerals and metals exploration and mining in Ghana.

“Undoubtedly, we have made significant progress in this regard. MIIF worked with GRA to realign revenues from our gold royalties and engaging with stakeholders with emphasis on non-gold royalties,” he said.

Mr Ofori-Atta said the Fund currently has GH₵1.9 billion under management.

He said a lot more remained to be done if “we are to achieve the Fund’s mandate of building a world class entity and Africa’s leading fund of its kind with capacity to lead social responsible.”

The Minister said in 2019, Ghana’s mining and quarrying sector was the 2nd largest contributor to GDP, accounting for 14.9 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product and was ranked number one in gold production in Africa and 6th on the global list, producing 139 tonnes in 2020.

This reflected the significance of the sector to the overall national output, and the global minerals market.

He said the sector attracted more than half of all foreign direct investment and generated more than one-third of all export revenues, contributing 43 per cent of export revenues in 2019, increasing from 39 per cent in 2018.

He said the role of MIIF to the industry as a strategic and critical lever for economic transformation could not be overemphasised and there was no better time than now for them to challenge themselves to take the Fund and the mining industry to the next level.

Mr Ofori-Atta urged the Board to work together to build a world class Fund and lead the modernization of the mining sector.

He said, “I understand some work has already started on a number of initiatives, including the small-scale mining incubation strategy.”

The Minister said this was to inject equity into selected small scale mining entities in the form of cooperatives or aggregated entities Mineral marketing strategy which was to buy gold as part of investments to develop the non-gold sector such as quarrying.

Mr Ofori-Atta said it was imperative for the members of the reconstituted Board to review these initiatives and ensure that they were continued to the point of completion.

He said the Central Bank recently launched its domestic gold purchase programme as part of efforts to build gold reserves.

“The gold purchase programme will pave the way for Bank of Ghana to grow its foreign exchange reserves to foster confidence and enhance currency stability,” and urged the Board to partner with them on this initiative,” he said.

He assured the Board of the Ministry’s support as they go about creating a “fit-for-purpose” MIIF capable of maximizing revenue from mining and exploration for the benefit of Ghana and Ghanaians, monetizing mining sector income in a beneficial, transparent accountable and sustainable manner.

Professor Douglas Boateng, the Chairman of the Board, commended the previous Board for their role in establishing the Fund.

“l am looking forward to working with my other esteem Board Members to further advance the goal of the Fund,” he said.

The Board Chairman said as Directors they were without fully committed to the Company’s Act, which provided guidelines to protecting and building shareholder value.

He said the Board would use their duly authorized supervisory role to guide MIIF into long term wealth creation for Ghana and look forward to collaborating with other African countries to achieve the objectives.

Prof Boateng said, ”we must also enter innovative and performance driven partnerships to help maximise the current income from the sector’s royalties.”

Source: Ghana News Agency

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