The Gateway Services Limited (GSL), a leading Destination Inspection Company (DIC) in the country, has begun preparing officials of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) through a series of training programmes to enable the service take over its operations at the ports.
The move, the company said, was in fulfilment of its contract agreements with the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Private Sector Development and PSI and also formed part of measures to place CEPS in a better stead to rake in more money for the state.
The Managing Director of the company, Mr Nabali Bawa, told the Daily Graphic that the first phase of the training was almost completed to pave the way for the second phase.
The company, which was granted licence to operate as a destination inspection company to undertake valuation and classifications of goods imported into the country since 2000, is expected to complete its mandate by 2010.
The wind-up of the company is expected to leave scores of employees of the company jobless if they were not absorbed by the institution in the takeover.
Mr Bawa said the company was also giving its operations a major facelift while expanding its facilities to provide more room for the CEPS officials.
“We are now putting up a video-conferencing room, while updating our facilities to get CEPS much more ready when we leave the scene,” he added.
Asked whether the operations of Bankswitch Ghana Limited, a new IT company registered by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to also prepare CEPS for the future was affecting the work of GSL, he replied in the negative.
However, he was not clear about the parameters of Bankswitch and indicated that it would serve the interest of the public for that company to come clear on their responsibilities.
Mr Bawa said his company was not in the position to engage the company, because “we take instructions from the ministry that mandated us to do the job we are in now”.
He will not say whether GSL was seeking for the extension of its mandate to enable the company stay a little longer, but it was clear from his demeanour that an extension would not be a bad idea because of the massive investment that the company has made by ensuring that CEPS was able to collect more revenues at the ports.
Story by Charles Benoni Okine