The decision of the government to make clearing of goods from the country’s ports paperless is a good one and must be applauded by all.
It is a trite knowledge that having an effective and efficient networking system is a problem, to the extent that banks often have to delay providing services to their customers, because their networks are down.
Whatever stakeholders engagement the government is involved in since announcing to make our ports paperless, has not been exhaustive.
Important stakeholders such as the freight forwarders, who are the interface between government agencies and the clients, have not been effectively briefed and engaged to ensure the smooth implementation of the paperless clearing system.
Ghanaians, indeed are averse to change, but that is no excuse to blind them, in introducing a policy that has far reaching consequences if not properly handled.
We are of the considered opinion that, government must continue the stakeholder engagement; every player should be brought on board and must be adequately satisfied before going ahead to roll out the policy.
The government can also decided to pilot the programme for now in respect of particular goods, for example ,cars could be cleared using the new dispensation, when that becomes successful, it can then go ahead to full implementation.
It is not too late to think through the policy. Rushing to introduce a policy that is not clear to the people, who will be using it, is not a wise decision.
We are in September, a month the programme is expected to start, yet the general public, are not in tune with what it is about.
Government must tread cautiously in order not to plunge this country into crisis. Not every campaign promise needs to be fulfilled this year.
Even telecommunications companies that, deal in the provision of infrastructure that the paperless policy is expected to run on, are having teething problems.
The volume of work at the ports on a daily basis, should scare anybody who wants to introduce a paperless system, before crossing all the Ts and dotting the Is, because of the unreliability of networks.
There is a lot the government can do to block revenue leakages, the knee jerk reaction is not going to do anyone any good.
They must rethink the policy and come back again when all stakeholders are well engaged.