Gov’t to limit discretionary powers of Custom Official – Veep

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cc70a505bc077931807c120bb55adf07_LGOVERNMENT has initiated moves to limit the discretionary powers of Custom Official, in terms of duty charges at the port as part new measures to ensure efficiency and maximizing revenue targets at the port.

Additionally, government has set September 1, 2017, deadline for the removal of all internal custom barriers to enhance the free movement of goods to other parts of the continent as well as the commencement of a paperless transaction at the port.
The Vice President DrAlhajiMahamuduBawumia made these announcements at the Ghana-Malta Business Forum at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, in Accra yesterday.
According to the Vice-President, these measures are part of a “risk engine” to be put in place to complement other measures at improving not only the turnaround time at the port but also make Ghana’s port one of the most efficient in the sub-region.
When these measures are fully implemented, it is expected that importers should be able to clear their goods within a minimum of four hours. 
“We want to remove a lot of discretion from Custom Officers in terms of duty charges and so we have a module which we are bringing into place which has a global pricing across… by the end of this year once this risk engine comes into operation and the automation process takes place it should not take more than 4 hours to clear your container in Ghana,” the Vice-President stressed.
The forum, which was held as part of activities marking the three-day visit of the President of Malta, Her Excellency, ColeiraPreca, was to afford both countries the opportunity to explore business and investment opportunities as well as strengthen trade ties.
The Vice-President reiterated the commitment of the Ghanaian government to ensure an investor friendly environment and to make Ghana an investment destination of choice on the African continent. 
He mentioned a number of initiatives instituted by the President Nana AddoDankwaAkufo-Addo as part of measures to achieve those goals.
“We have embarked on an extensive investment in hard and soft infrastructure that places Ghana at the heart of trade and investment flows in the region. Under the leadership of His Excellency, President Nana AddoDankwaAkufo-Addo, we are building Ghana as a logistics, transportation, financial, industrial, oil and gas, and trade hub in the West Africa region.
“Secondly, with the implementation of the National Digital Addressing System, the National Identification Scheme, and Interoperability of Banking and Mobile Communications platforms scheduled for completion later this year, we are on course to formalising the economy which will help broaden the tax base and further reduce the burden on current taxpayers – we have already removed more than ten taxes this fiscal year – and accelerate financial inclusion which will expand the potential market for goods and services for investors like you”.
He assured the Maltese businesses of Ghana’s commitment to facilitate their investments in the country and also assured Ghanaian entrepreneurs of government support to access Malta’s market.
“Whatever we can do as a government to facilitate your access to Malta’s market within the broad framework of our economic partnership we will do”.
“Together, let us give effect and meaning to our shared commitment to improving relations between Ghana and Malta to encompass nearly all facets of development for the socio-economic development of our peoples”.

By Daniel NONOR, Accra

ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

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A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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