Confusion over paperless system embarrassing – Yaw Oppong

Yaw Oppong said that lawyers who benefited from the process in the past could be affected

A private legal practitioner, Yaw Oppong has described as embarrassing the confusion that greeted the introduction of the paperless clearing system at Ghana’s ports.

According to him, such systems are the norm in advanced countries and were long overdue in Ghana.

“In all honesty, I think it is embarrassing that we are now talking about paperless system at the port. We have friends who are engaged in freight forwarding, they know that their counterparts in China and elsewhere have long been introduced to this. They are aware of how these thing works.”

“I’m sure when their own partners in China, Britain and so on, hear that they are here fighting over paperless system; they will be surprised because these are well known,” he added while speaking on Citi FM’s news analysis programme, The Big Issue on Saturday.

Government began the implementation of the paperless clearing system last week to reduce the time for clearing goods from two weeks to four hours, and ensure order at the port, whilst blocking loopholes.

But the aim to which the system was established experienced some hitches following which hundreds of angry Freight Forwarders thronged the Longroom of the Tema Port to protest over the delays in the system.

Lawyer Oppong on The Big Issue advised the freight forwarders to employ IT experts to help them better understand the process.

“Of course there are some who are not so much experienced in terms of technology but they must employ people who have the expertise in their offices so that they will also educate them or bring them to the standard,” he said.

He further called on government to also introduce cashless system at the ports to complement the paperless system.

“I think we should go further and do cashless. All these companies [importers] and freight forwarding companies must have bank accounts, there should be a system where their monies are loaded on their cards and linked to even the originating countries …to prevent tax avoidance and tax evasion,” he added.