…Sets confusion at GRA & others –
The Vice President of Policy think-tank, IMANI-Africa, Bright Simons, has revealed that a $40 million deal involving cargo tracking at the ports, has got stakeholders in a state of seeming unrest.
He noted that the government agencies involved are the Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana Shippers Authority, Ports, Trade Ministry, and others.
His revelation comes after the Finance Ministry released a statement to label as fake a letter circulating with the headline “Re-enhancing Shipping Data Collection and Management in Ghana through Smart Port and Electronic Cargo Tracking”, purportedly sent from the Finance Ministry.
Bright Simons said: “A deal estimated to be worth about $40m a year has all manner of govt bigshots throwing blows at each other. GRA, Ghana Shippers Authority, Ports, Trade Ministry, etc. Finally, the boss of bosses, Finance Ministry, has stepped in to declare one spunky contractor as fraudulent!”
Expounding on the nooks and crannies of the matter, Bright Simons, said the company that claims to have been validated by the government is a “mysterious entity”.
“The company that claims to have been mandated by Ghana to validate all cargo imports & which the Finance Ministry accuse of fraud & fakery, is a mysterious entity called Antaser, with a string of aliases across Africa (TPMS, BBVA, etc). Its adventures deserve Holywood treatment,” he said.
The Finance Ministry said the said letter noted that from September 15, 2023, all shipments to Ghana, including transit shipments are required to obtain an Electronic Cargo Transit number (ECTN/SPN) and submit it to Antaser Afrique BVBA for verification.
The Ministry, said the shippers and stakeholders must note that the letter and its content are fake and should be ignored.
In a statement on October 31, 2023, the finance ministry expressed appreciation to shipping agents and stakeholders who prompted them on the purported letter, assuring them to inform the public of any government’s intended new tax policy.
“We thank all stakeholders who alerted us and made enquiries and wish to assure them that, as is done with all policies, extensive consultation will be done with relevant stakeholders whenever the government wishes to introduce a new policy or tax,” parts of the statement read. GhanaWeb