Business News of 2014-08-15

Shortage of staff at Customs Division

The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is finding it difficult to collect more revenue for the state as a result of a serious shortage of staff across the country.

The acting Commissioner of the division, Mr Wallace Akondor, said the human resource capacity of the division had been reduced owing to factors such as retirement, death and the ban on recruitment.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Takoradi, Mr Akondor said aside the natural attrition; the service was also facing the problem of ageing staff.

“The current average age in the service is between 47 and 50, a situation which is problematic for the service. For the kind of work we do, we need those with an average age of about 30. Those are the legs that can patrol our borders and do the kind of work we do,” he said.

The current strength

The acting commissioner said the current staff strength was about 3,000, noting that more hands were needed for the division to carry out its mandate of collecting and protecting tax revenue.

He said the dwindling staff strength had a negative effect on revenue generation, saying, “What the current situation means is that there is a lot more work on fewer hands and efficiency will not be at its best.”

Mr Akondor explained that the country’s borders were very porous, a situation which required constant patrol, which meant low staffing was a problem.

Way forward

He said currently, the only option for the Customs Division was to train more staff; especially the youthful ones who could do the foot work and effectively help carry out the mandate of the division.

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