Bottlenecks of paperless system to be fully addressed by June –Director, Tema Ports

Director at the Tema Port, Edward Kofi Osei has given assurances that challenges surrounding transaction under the paperless system at the ports would be fully addressed by middle of this year.

The paperless transactions system was introduced in September last year to reduce the turnaround time in the clearing of goods at the port.

However some stakeholders including importers and freight forwarders have complained that the new process has still slowed down their work, months after its implementation.

But Osei told Goldstreet Business in an interview they are vigorously addressing the said challenges.

The challenges we are facing are in two folds. One is technical challenges, the integration of the project is still a challenge. It is ongoing but slowly. There is also a challenge of changing the mindset of a whole people who have dealt with paper for a long time and all of a sudden you want them to work with electronic stuff,” he stated.

He explained further that “Someone who has really not worked with a computer but you hand him a computer now, and you also ask someone who usually goes to the bank to make a payment to now sit in his office and make a payment. These are the challenges but as time goes on we will all get there.”

Osei revealed that there are constant review of the programme to improve the transactions.

Meanwhile the paperless system is said to have improved revenue collection at the port by more than 50 percent.

“Every month there is vast improvement in the collection process.” Osei opined.

Vice President Alhaji Muhammudu Bawumia last year directed managers of the various ports to implement the paperless system due to the huge losses recorded.

According to the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, the country was losing well over US$400 million to ships annually through demurrages.