The Indigenous Freight Forwarders Association of Ghana, has expressed sadness at the turn of event at the ports, which has seen the government losing millions of dollars, while businesses of freight forwarders stand in jeopardy, as a result of the introduction of the UNIPASS system.
According to the association, whose membership is more than 1,000, the government must, as a matter of urgency, ensure they have their jobs or they will be compelled to take matters into their own hands by driving out personnel of ICUMS and GhLink from the ports in the coming days.
“We are by this statement, cautioning the faceless persons behind this whole deal to ensure they either give us back our system or incur our wrath. As the saying goes: ‘a man who is already down doesn't fear to fall’,” it said in a press conference.
Furthermore, the statement said: “The failure of ICUMS to operate for the past 4 days, has not only affected our operations, but also threatened our source of living”.
“We had envisaged this situation, hence our persistent call in the past for government to either pilot the operations of ICUMS or scrap of the deal.”
Nonetheless, it emphasised that: “The crisis has already been created by some greedy and selfish persons, whose conduct in this whole deal from the onset, was nothing but filling their pockets through dubious means”.
“However, we have observed with deep concern some anomalies in this whole deal and situation we find ourselves in.”
The group wondered: “What happened to the contract between the government of Ghana and UNI-PASS, the Korean-owned platform? Why did the system change from UNI-PASS to ICUMS all of a sudden when what had been advertised by the government was the former?”
The freight forwarders also wondered: “Why has it taken ICUMS and GH-LINK almost a week to restore the system while that was not the case preached to us the stakeholders before this takeover? Why has the leadership of the freight forwarders (The Ghana Institute of freight forwarders GIFF) suddenly gone mute on this matter? And when is the system going to be restored and who is going to foot the losses we've incurred since this whole drama started?”