Security analyst Dr. Kwesi Aning has described as disturbing the decision by government to exclude the Narcotics Control Board and the National security from inspection agencies at the ports.
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia made the announcement on Wednesday as part of what he said were efforts to reform the paperless ports system.
Per the reforms, the FDA, Customs division of the GRA and the Ghana Standards Authority are to be in charge of routine checks at the ports.
Announcing the reforms Wednesday at the 2018 Accra Mall Mobex Technology Expo, Dr. Bawumia stated that the reforms became necessary because some persons within the import and export ecosystem, including Customs officials are still influencing it through various human interventions to enrich themselves at the expense of state.
“It is clear that notwithstanding the new systems that have been implemented, there are concerted efforts to circumvent the paperless system both by customs officials and supposedly national security operatives.
“I understand that some officials at the port are demanding documents from importers for stamping. This is ridiculous and should not happen under the new paperless regime,” he said.
The reforms will take effect from July 1, 2018, declared the Vice President at the Expo themed: ‘Enhancing Economic Prosperity through Retail Technology and Financial Innovation’.
However speaking on the Morning Starr Thursday, the Director of the Faculty of Academic Affairs & Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre said the decision sends a disturbing signal about the Ghana’s commitment to security.
“Taking National Security and NACOB out raises a lot of red flags and sends a rather bad signal to our partners in the world of the container control programme…it might be appropriate to go back to the drawing board and look at the institution that do the checks.”