Freight forwarders, importers, as well as exporters, have over the years, complained about the problems they go through in their dealings with the Destination Inspection Companies (DICs).
The disrespect, the manner in which staff of the DICs talk to them, the cumbersome nature of a process that should be a straightforward one, has frustrated them for years, compelling some of them to call our office, about three years ago.
Part of their complaints were that, they were being treated like animals, whenever they have any concerns that they needed addressed, they will be no one to talk to when they visit the offices of the DICs, because a glass has been erected to separate them from the workers.
Another concern the workers had were that, they were being charged exorbitant prices for their imports, without regard to the destination of their goods, they the (freight forwarders) are accused mostly of under valuing their goods or not paying taxes, when they buy abroad, so they do not present proper documents.
The time spent in completing one transaction was also another factor that they raised and said it was affecting their businesses, the turnaround time was too much and they wanted government to intervene.
Some government officials were accused of supporting the DICs and encouraging them to perpetuate the illegality, by treating the freight forwarders like they do not matter.
Madam Hannah Tetteh, who was the then Minister of Trade, was tongue lashed and received bad publicity, which was sponsored by the freight forwarders, who accused her of being in bed with the DICs.
The government responded to their concerns by abrogating the contract it had with the DICs and now the same freight forwarders have turn round to accuse the government of not being transparent in the decision to contract West Blue Consulting Ghana Limited, to manage the Single Window platform.
A Freight forwarder has earlier filed a writ at An Accra Fast Track Court, seeking an injunction to stop government from contracting West Blue Ghana limited to manage its single window policy.
The plaintiff wanted the court to declare that “the single-sourcing of the National Single Window and Risk Management System Project in favour of West Blue Ghana Limited, was a breach of Section 40 of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663).”
The case was struck out for lack of evidence.
The matter is not going away anytime soon, as the freight forwarder, is back in court to stop the government from going ahead to engage West Blue Consulting.
The government has only acted in good faith and in the best interest of the freight forwarders, who have complained over the years, about the way the DICs are handling them.
We should rather be commending the government, instead of the hullabaloo and the unwarranted accusations, as if some under hand dealing had gone on.
We want the best things, but yet we are not prepared for change, even if that is what we need to move forward.