General News Sat, 1 Sep 2018

Closure of customs borders would hinder revenue mobilization

The Chief of Asikuma, Nana Abuko Kofi II, has raised concerns on the directive by the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, for all Customs border posts in the country to be opened and vehicles allowed to move to and fro without customs interference.

He said that the closure of the border posts would have dire consequences on revenue mobilization, since the country has porous borders which could be used by individuals who smuggle goods into the country to evade tax.

He also expressed dismay at why government would decide to open the borders at the time when the country needs to accrue enough revenue for development.

Nana Abuko Kofi II stated that the re-operationalizing of border posts within the country would help combat smuggling and other transnational crimes as smuggled goods that enter the country through unapproved routes would be intercepted at any of the border posts within the country.

He said “the convergence of all border security services are in Asikuma, but quite recently, immigration is gone, customs have opened their doors, why? I don’t know what is going on.”

“Are we leaving the security of this nation for people to come through porous borders and bring unwholesome and inferior goods to our country. For customs I will only appeal to them that they better stand up, we are losing a lot of revenue because of this directive”, he added.

The Ho Sector Command of the Customs Division, Senyo Tawiah Ameyibor, alluded to that the fact that his Sector has indeed been struggling to achieve 1/8 of what it used to accrue in previous years following the Vice President’s directive on the opening of the border posts within the country excluding the Elubo and Dabala border posts.

“The rate at which we are losing revenue, it is affecting Asikuma collection, we rope in revenue as a much as GhC400,000 every year, but now we cannot even talk about just GhC50,000”, he said.

He, therefore, appealed to traditional authorities to advocate for the re-operationalization of the border post to curb the occurrence of transnational crimes in the country.

“Since it is a directive from the Vice President, we cannot say anything otherwise. But you being the custodian of the town, whatever you say would carry weight, so we would even plead with you to be our mouthpiece to talk on our issue”, he appealed.

Source: Fred Quame Asare