The Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF) has accused some government and UNIPASS officials of attempting to bribe their members to stop lamenting about the challenges with the implementation of the Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS).
Addressing the media on the difficulties they are facing at the country’s various ports, an Executive Member of the Association of Customs House Agents Ghana, Kwesi Serebour Boateng, said some of their members have been bribed to praise the system.
According to him, any freight forwarder or clearing agent praising the system has been offered goodies by to paint a positive picture that the system is working perfectly well, even though, they are fraught with several challenges.
Mr. Serebour Boateng maintained that the notion which suggests that freight forwarders are divided on the use of the system built by UNIPASS is false
He insisted that “some of us were called to be given money, we refused it because you can’t give me money to keep quiet. I’m saying some of us freight forwarders have been offered money but we refused it. So anyone who says this system is working well has taken the money. We are not divided but some of us have refused to sell our conscience that is why we are sitting here.”
He added that “If it is about money, we would have taken good monies and be quiet, Akrong (President of GIFF) is suffering because he has refused to sell his conscience. Money is not everything but we are leaders and we need to care about other people. So let us not sell our conscience for money.”
On his part, President of GIFF, Edward Akrong said their constant criticism is borne out of a desire to see a turn around in fortunes at the country’s ports.
According to him, the government is losing money because ICUMS is an open area for anyone to dupe the state.
Mr. Akrong cautioned that “Nobody is happy with the system…government is losing and also traders are incurring more charges on rent and demurrages.”
He, therefore, called on President Akufo-Addo to hear their cry and intervene immediately.