The Custom, Exercise and Preventive Service was proud to present the new CEPS Valuation and Classification Office in North Ridge, Accra, which is supposed to ensure a highly modern management of electronic information and to enable the CEPS to resume their core functions of classification and valuation.
Since the CEPS' core functions of valuation and classification are currently performed by the Destination Inspection Companies, CEPS indicated to Government earlier this year that it could take up these essential functions again if provided with suitable software, IT systems, training and accommodation of sufficient size.
Also the World Trade Organization recommended a support for CEPS in order to enable their performance of its role regarding to Valuation and Classification of goods imported in Ghana.
Indeed, the capability and efficiency of the CEPS is an important factor for the development of the national economy, since about half of the Government"s revenue collections come from duties and taxes of imported goods, which are collected by the CEPS.
After the Government's encouragement to seek the required software and IT systems in order to increase the CEPS' capacity, CEPS preferred an acquisition of computer systems developed by the consortium of Bankswitch Ghana and the GET Group FZE, which then provided the required accommodation.
The planning of this project, which was launched by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning in collaboration with the Revenue Agencies Governing Board and the CEPS,
started in July of this year.
The renovation works were finished in the first week of October 2008 and finally, the building was inaugurated with a big opening ceremony on Wednesday, 16th October 2008.
"Just from the outside alone, it is clear to me that you have a fine building,' Akoto Osei, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning and honoured guest, smiled.
'With the opening of this building, Government has now ensured that CEPS has the software, the IT systems, and the accommodation CEPS requested to enable it to resume its roles of valuation and classification.
Government has done its part by enhancing the capacity of CEPS, CEPS can now rightly be expected to perform.'
The guided tour through the renovated and fully air conditioned building revealed a complex structure of the well equipped rooms, which can house up to 70 officers.
Beside a large IT room, the new office contains three interview rooms, a conference room, a canteen, a kitchen, offices for three senior officers, and enough space for a classification and valuation unit.
Appreciating the move to this building as a further step in the modernization of CEPS and the improvement of its services, Mr Osei hopefully looks forward:
'We shall expect CEPS to be able to meet new targets and we seek to increase the pace of national development so as to bring about the wish of all Ghanaians for a better Ghana.'