Business News of 2014-04-24

Prez Mahama announces leadership changes at GRA

President John Dramani Mahama has announced several senior leadership changes at the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in what appears to be an attempt to boost revenue collection countrywide.
A statement issued by the President’s Chief of Staff, Prosper Bani, named Assistant Commissioner, Wallace Kofi Akondor, as the new Acting Commissioner of Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) division of GRA. He is to replace Isaac Ofoe Apronti, the incumbent.
The statement also named Frederick Gavor, an Assistant Commissioner, as the new Acting Deputy Commissioner, Operations. “Mr. John Vianney Kuudamnuru, Assistant Commissioner, moves to the Headquarters as Head of Imports and Exports,” the statement said.
It added, “Mr. Oman Awudu, Assistant Commissioner, moves from Kumasi to Tema as Sector Head. Mr. Kofi Toffah, Assistant Commissioner, moves to Kumasi as Sector Head. Mr. Melvin Mc-Bruce, Assistant Commissioner, is posted to Takoradi as Sector Head” The changes take effect from May 5, 2014.
Last month, the Commissioner General of GRA, George Blankson, said his outfit was determined to exceed its revenue collection target this year by about 42%. Mr. Blankson said GRA will collect over eighteen million Ghana Cedis in taxes this year alone.
Again, in January this year, The Daily Graphic quoted the GRA boss as saying the Authority had failed to meet its revenue target of GH¢15.61 billion for 2013. According to the paper, collections fell below the Authority’s target by 17%, putting the total revenue collected last year at about GH¢12.96 billion.
Mr. Blankson reportedly said to The Daily Graphic that analysis conducted by the Authority revealed that total revenue collected in 2013 was, however, 14 % above the GH¢11.7 billion figure collected in 2012.
Although The Daily Graphic publication quoted the GRA boss as saying: “The failure to meet the 2013 target isn’t for want of effort,” insiders say the senior leadership changes announced by Tuesday’s Flagstaff House statement appear to strengthen the team of people leading national revenue collection across the country in a bid to boost receipts.