Deputy Finance Minister, Kwaku Kwarteng says the web-based platform being used to undertake paperless clearing system has been re-programmed.
This was after some freight forwarders stormed the Tema Port on Thursday, to register their discomfort over delays in clearing their consignments.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Friday, Mr Kwarteng said the situation came about because many of the cases identified were those that had started before September 1, 2017, when the paperless system took off.
He explained that “Because the initial path has now been shut, if you were on it, it takes you to nowhere and your clearing process gets locked in the system somewhere and that has created some backlog.
“We had the same problem with warehousing…but that is a software problem and it just had to be re-programmed,” he added.
Although freight forwarders opposed its implementation, the paperless clearing system, announced by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia took off on September 1, 2017.
The new system, according to the vice president, will result in the clearing of goods at the ports within four hours.
The old manual process which involved double inspections, processing of papers and other activities that impeded the smooth running of the port will no longer occur.
But in its first week, the paperless system has failed to make any significant impact.
However, the Deputy Minister, who was reportedly booed by freight forwarders out of frustration at the Tema Port yesterday, says everything is being done to ensure the smooth running of the system.
He said the concerns and fears expressed by the freight forwarders are deeply understood and things will begin to fall in place from today.
“Fortunately, by today all the issues will be resolved today and they will start clearing the backlog. These are not difficult issues, they were little things that were not anticipated, but we understand their concerns,” he said.
Mr Kwarteng added that “The arrangements we made yesterday before we slept, are sufficient to start the clearing of goods from the ports from today.”
He also disclosed that the Ministry is in talks with the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and managers of the shipping lines so that the charges that have accrued as a result of delays by the system will be waived.
He prayed the freight forwarders to be patient because the government is doing all it can to make the system run smoothly, stressing that the “paperless system is here to stay.”