Improving port efficiency and custom operations in Ghana: the case of Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNET) under Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS)

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Ports and customs operations and management in Ghana have been characterized by increasing volume of trade, corruption and technological advancement over the past decade. This situation has undermined the efforts of the management of the ports and customs agencies, especially Customs Excise and Preventive Services leading to escalating ports and customs management challenges. The study attempts, among others, to establish the nature and extent of automation of ports and customs operations in Ghana and to assess the efficacy of the Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNet) system in ports and customs operations. Using the case study method, data was on ports operations and the type of automation for the operations of the ports was gathered. Data was collected from both the primary and secondary sources. With respect to the sampling, institutions whose activities were affected and influenced by the GCNet system were considered. Structured institutional questionnaire was used in collecting the data. The outcome of the research unearthed the scope and extent of the usage of the automation system in ports and customs operations by institutions like as CEPS, GPHA, Ghana Shippers’ Council, Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Ghana Commercial Bank, Ecobank Ghana Limited and other institutions, efforts in managing and improving the GCNet system in ports and customs operations, the impact of the GCNet system on ports and customs operations. Other key findings included the positive effects of GCNet system on promoting international trade and making Ghana the trade hub of the sub-region. The research thus recommends ways such as deepening people’s understanding of the GCNet and to expand the level of usage of the system. The study also recommends an extensive public education on the benefits of the GCNet, and training for stakeholders for effective and efficient use of the system to improve ports and customs operations in Ghana. Last but not the least, the study recommends a more extensive collaboration and coordination of all the major stakeholders of the GCNet system to ensure a common understanding and appreciation of the contributions of the GCNet to ports and customs operations in Ghana.
A Thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies,Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Development Policy and Planning.