Gov’t forced West Blue out of business – Murtala

A Former Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry in the Mahama administration, Murtala Mohammed has said that the New Patriotic Party government “frustrated” West Blue Consult out of business to allow a Dubai-based company to take over single window-related services at the ports.

He said the government must provide important details about the new company that will be taking over West Blue’s operations.

A statement from the management of West Blue on Wednesday sighted by citifmonline.com, said an agreement has been entered by the two companies to that effect.

“Customs World, a subsidiary of Ports Customs and Free Zones Corporation (PCFC) Dubai, has signed an agreement to take over West Blue Ghana Limited, the company engaged for the provision of the National Single Window and Risk Management System in Ghana. This agreement formalizes the establishment of ‘Ports & Customs World Ghana Limited,’” the statement said.

“What kind of contractual arrangements is government going to enter with the new company that is taking over from West Blue, and how long is the contract going to last? Is the new company going to continue where West Blue stopped, and how much will it cost?”

“There are a lot of companies that are crying in silence because they entered into contractual arrangements with the previous government. There are genuine questions that need to be asked because it involves money,” he added.

But according to Murtala Mohammed, West Blue’s decision to close operations in Ghana was not voluntary, but were forced to do so by the government.

“I am not surprised at all. Some of us saw it coming. That company went through a lot of frustration when the NPP came to power…I am aware that they went through a lot of frustration. For the purposes of their business interests, they may not want to admit but they were frustrated and a strangely another company has been contracted,” Murtala told Richard Sky on Eyewitness News.

West Blue Consulting, an IT firm engaged by the John Mahama government to provide a National Single Window and Risk Management System in Ghana, had been operating in the country since 2015.

The companies engagement by the former government was met with stiff opposition from members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

There were recent concerns about whether the country was operating a single window or a double window following complaints of a duplication of duty by West Blue Consulting and the Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNet) at the ports.

The NPP government’s decision to operate a paperless system at the ports rekindled debates on the operations of GCNet and West Blue.

Details of West Blue’s takeover by Customs World, are yet to be made public.

By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana