CEPS commission A Building The Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) is closer to taking over the functions of destination inspection companies scheduled for 1st January 2009, as it now boasts of a fully-fledged valuation and classification centre in Accra
The modern facility was commissioned yesterday by the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Prof Gyan Baffour who underscored the critical role played by CEPS in revenue collection.
The project, which had a substantial input from Suisse Bank, which provided the appropriate software for the valuation and classification operation, has added another chip on the shoulders of CEPS.
In his speech, the deputy minister said government expects CEPS to be more efficient in the task of revenue collection.
He explained that when CEPS demanded the creation of the centre, one key request was the provision of appropriate software as well as an appropriate building to accommodate the gadgets. This was where the Bankswitch Ghana and the GET Group FZE came in, he said.
Government, he said, encouraged CEPS to seek the software and IT systems. It was the consortium of Bankswitch and GET Group FZE which offered to provide CEPS with the required accommodation to house up to 70 officers.
One government intervention, he pointed out, is the engagement of modern Information Technology in the operations of CEPS, one of which is the now functional valuation and classification centre.
The GCNet and GCMnet systems, he stated, are intended to provide a single window for the management of clearance of goods.
With a first-class equipment and a modern building the minister said government expects CEPS to meet new targets in revenue collection.
On his part, CEPS Commissioner, Emmanuel Doku said his organization with the provision of the centre and the training provided to staff, both within and abroad are ready to deliver efficient service.
The Executive Secretary of RAGB, Mr. Harry Owusu in a speech noted that classification is a core function of customs operations and expressed his excitement that the dream of having such a facility has come true within two years.
He charged CEPS personnel to live up to expectation with the provision of the facility, adding that it is also expected that this would reduce the incidence of dubious documentation and the like.
“It is my prayer that the journey we have embarked upon today will take us to the final destination,” he said.
The renovated building making up the centre houses include 70 officers and is equipped with 3 interview rooms, a conference room, an office space for valuation and classification units.
The move has been described as a further step in the modernization of CEPS procedures and work practices.
By A.R. Gomda