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Mon, 20 Nov 2023 Headlines

West Blue’s Single Window arrears lawsuit: Official letter confirms fixed percentage

West Blue’s Single Window arrears lawsuit: Official letter confirms fixed percentage
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West Blue Ghana Limited’s payment under Ghana’s National Single Window and Integrated Risk Management System contract executed in August 2015 with the government of Ghana was a fixed percentage of the final invoice CIF of all imports, a letter signed by Madam Mangowa Ghanney, a former Director of Legal at the Ministry of Finance, and seen by AviationGhana, has confirmed.

In 2015, she drafted and oversaw the execution of the Government’s single window contract with West Blue and provided a legal opinion to the Ministry of Finance over the payment matters and contract renegotiations in 2018, among others.

In one of the letters signed on behalf of the Finance Minister, Madam Mangowa confirmed that West Blue’s contract payment was a fixed percentage of the final invoice CIF of all imports when the issue of nonpayment of arrears arose.

West Blue Ghana, last week, sued the Attorney-General (AG) and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) for non-payment of over GHC289 million in arrears for work done under the National Single Window and Integrated Risk Management System contract executed in August 2015.

The outstanding fees were a result of the government’s (Finance Ministry and GRA) failure to pay West Blue the full Contract price (from 2015 to 2020) fee which is a fixed percentage of the final invoice CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) value of import consignments entering Ghana through the seaports, airports, and land borders.

Before the suit, West Blue through its then-lawyers Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa and Ankomah (BELA) had written to the Ministry of Finance in a letter dated June 3, 2020, demanding payment of the outstanding fees and collection of assets.

In response, Madam Mangowa in a letter dated June 11, 2020, signed on behalf of the Minister, requested West Blue to provide the Ministry with the CIF values used to compute the amounts claimed.

“Regarding your demand for payment of outstanding fees due your client, West Blue Ghana Limited, to enable the government to make a determination of any monies that may be due to your client, please request your client to provide this Ministry with the CIF values used to compute the amounts claimed to be owed…,” Madam Mangowa stated in the letter to West Blue.

West Blue, through its lawyers, in a letter dated June 19 and July 8, 2020, provided the Ministry with the CIF values (0.35% and 0.28% respectively) as stated in its contract which was drafted by Mangowa, former Director, Legal at the Ministry of Finance.

In another response letter dated July 17, 2020, signed on behalf of the Minister, Mangowa requested that West Blue provide evidence of what was to be paid by the government and how much was actually paid among other information. This, according to her, was to enable the Ministry to appreciate and validate the claims of the shortfalls.

West Blue through its lawyers wrote to the Ministry of Finance providing the CIF value for each month of the period; the percentage of CIF used by West Blue to compute their entitlement for each month, and the basis for the use of that percentage; what West Blue claimed ought to have been paid for each of the months of the period; and the amount West Blue was actually paid each of the months; and the difference, with evidence between what government actually paid, and the outstanding difference(s) being claimed by west blue.

After West Blue, through its lawyers had provided all the pieces of evidence and information requested by the Ministry in various correspondence, the government failed to pay the outstanding fees owed to West Blue resulting in the latter seeking redress at the court.

Dominick  Andoh
Dominick Andoh

Aviation ReporterPage: AviationGhana

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