West Blue is a Scam, Mahama should thread cautiously- Ghanaian Community in Nigeria

mahamaOur attention has been drawn to attempts by the Government of Ghana to contract the West Blue Company Ltd to undertake a Single Window project in Ghana taking over the works of Destination Inspection Companies currently operating in the country.

We are even more saddened that the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Trade and Industry have failed to conduct due diligence with their counterparts in Nigeria in order to abreast their respective Ministries of the situation of the destination inspections in Africa’s biggest economy which the West Blue Consulting was previously contracted to operate. In the spirit of the national interest, we the Ghanaian community in Nigeria are pleased to bring to light the failed operations of the West Blue Company while engaged to do destination inspection in Nigeria.

We are making a clarion call on his Excellency John Dramani Mahama to use his good office to halt any attempt by some government officials to force on Ghanaians the services of an incompetent company which has failed the Nigerian economy by the admission of the Coordinating Minister of Economy and Minister of Finance of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

While we followed up to the Federal Ministry of Finance of Nigeria, it will interest the President to note that one of Africa’s distinguished economist, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala, the immediate former Minister of Finance and also the Co-coordinating Minister of Economy of Nigeria was only relieved after the Federal Government of Nigeria abrogated the contract of West Blue Consulting which crippled the Nigerian economy and may have also contributed to the massive corruption in the previous government. Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala also confirmed that she had previously warned President Goodluck Jonathan prior to engaging West Blue Company of the potential threat of short-changing the trade facilitation and revenue collection by the Nigerian Customs Service. Unless President John Mahama and the Parliament of Ghana doubt the competence and judgment of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala, the best Finance Minister Africa has ever produced that West Blue Consulting has developed a failed trade facilitation system while operating in Nigeria and has caused huge financial loss to the Federal Republic of Nigeria which Nigeria is still paying.

If the Federal Minister of Finance/ Economy can confirm that the other DICs have rather developed an enhanced Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) platform which West Blue Company could not do, why then will Ghana, a country needing to strengthen its revenue collection and to curtail wastage in the system have interest in awarding contract to West Blue Consulting to carry out single window operation in Ghana?

We have also been informed from the media that, West Blue in attempt to convince government and Ghanaians to get this contract awarded them quickly facilitated a letter from the Office of the Comptroller- General of Customs of Nigeria indicating that West Blue Consulting is capable and credible to perform single window in Ghana. Our findings are that, a letter with reference number NCS/ADM/MGT/018/S.234/C purported to have been signed by Abdullahi D. I. CFR, the Comptroller-General of Customs presented to government and strategically sent to the media in Ghana is of no authenticity as such letter could still not be found in the archives of the office of the Comptroller-General of Customs.

The letter signed 2nd July, 2015 also raised suspicion as the Comptroller- General was in the first week of July attending to family issues (final funeral rites of his late father) at his hometown of Musawa, Musawa Local Government in Katsina State. Who had then signed the letter initiated by West Blue Consulting to convince Ghanaians that they are competent and credible? It also raises suspicion as communications between Alhaji Abdullahi Inde Dikko, the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service and the Coordinating Minister of Economy and Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who is also the chairman of the Nigerian Customs Service Board all pointed to the fact that West Blue Company was a regrettable failure to the Federal economy.

The letter which we gathered from the office of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala signed April 22, 2014 with reference number CME-HMF/FMF/NCS/1/2014 and attached herein (for Ghanaians to read) could not have been contradicted by the Comptroller-General of Customs who had in earlier communication to the Coordinating Minister for Economy and Minister of Finance admitted that the activities undertaken by Techno Brain West Blue Consulting has weakened and crippled trade facilitation and revenue collection and that the engagement of Destination Inspection Companies rather strengthened and saved the system.

Our major fear is that if West Blue Consulting could pay someone to forge a letter signed by Alhaji Abdullahi Inde Dikko, the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, then the possibility of paying others in Ghana to do their bidding is dangerous for the survival of our country. Parliament of Ghana should take this falsified act of West Blue Consulting seriously and investigate the credibility of the less than three (3) years old company before Ghana’s scared resources are swindled into oblivion.

From the aforesaid, we wish to caution the President, John Mahama to take a second look at contracting West Blue Consulting as the company lacks the credibility, competence and expertise to operate a single window. The company nearly collapsed the Nigerian trade facilitation and revenue generation thus were booted out by the Nigerian government and asked to acquire the needed expertise and experience before coming back and have now decided to use Ghana as an experimental case study.

We have also been informed by the authorities of the Nigerian Customs Service that Ghana could not fully implement single window platform as the institutional structures are currently not in place for a full single window roll-out. Ghana has still not completed the implementation of a single national ID card which is a prerequisite for such an ambitious project.

We are therefore concerned why the government of Ghana could consider awarding a contract to a three (3) year old company with no experience and to entrust the destiny of Ghanaians to a company sacked by the Nigerian authorities for non-performance. Moving forward, we make a clarion call on the President to rather re-engage the Destination Inspection Companies on performance-based contract as the Nigerian government is currently doing. The Ghanaian economy may also be too small for five (5) destination companies to operate thus there is the need to reduce the number of Inspection Companies based on performance indicators.

We also wish to call on Ghanaians to resist any attempt by the Ministries of Finance and Trade and Industry to award a contract to West Blue Consulting Ltd in the name of Single Window platform. The company had crippled the economy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Nigeria could only get back on track after their contract had been terminated and the Destination Inspection Companies were re-engaged. Ghana must take a cue from the bitter experience of Nigeria and thread cautiously with West Blue.

The leadership of the Ghanaian Community in Nigeria is ready to assist government of Ghana to acquire the relevant information needed from trustworthy members of The Nigerian Customs Services Board such as Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Musa Tahir, Wale Adeniyi, and many others who may not compromise their reputation at any cost and get us unravel the dubious projects of West Blue Consulting. That is if the Ghanaian Embassy are not able to do.

source: modernghana.com