The Commissioner of the Customs Exercise and Preventive Services (CEPS) of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Col. Kwadzwo Damoah (Rtd), has advised CEPS officers to undertake their mandates devoid of partisan politics.
According to Mr Damoah, as security and revenue collectors, they must remain loyal to nation building, work and ensure safety environment to encourage peaceful coexistence with neighbouring countries, to harness normal economic and social life.
Addressing the media after he met with both Junior and Senior staff during his working visit to Aflao Sector on Thursday, 3 July 2020, Mr. Damoah said, although they (officers) belong to political parties of their choice and will practice their right to vote come December 7 general elections, their political colours should not reflect in their line of duties, especially during this season of political campaigns and activities.
"Why I'm appealing to the officers is that, yes, we admit that come December 7, all of us are going to vote and actually we are likely to vote for parties of our choice and that is democracy. Nobody can prevent anybody from voting but that is distinct from our official duties. Officially, we are supposed to perform a certain mandate and that is why I'm appealing to them that, they should focus on that official mandate, remain loyal to the state and should not in any way allow political differences to affect the way we go about our duties," he said.
Speaking on revenue generation, the Commissioner said, the novel COVID-19 has affected revenue generation since February 2020.
He revealed that " Naturally, the volume coming which already was reducing is going to reduce further, so we have done some analysis and it's shown in a direction that, our revenue is going down. In the case of Customs, in January, we recorded more than GHS1 billion and in February we fell below GHS1 billion and in March it fell further below GHS1 billion and in April when the real effect of the COVID was in, it went further down than before, so on that angle, we are able to say that COVID-19 is indeed hitting us hard in terms of revenue because of the volumes of imports that are coming now."
Mr Damoah, however, charged the personnel to work harder to get more revenue for the country so that they will be able to pay salaries and other important expenditure without financial difficulties.
"If you (the officers) increase the revenue, then all things being equal, your chances of being able to have some left after your payment of salaries and allowances will be higher and therefore we will be able to provide other essential by way of logistics and operations" he advised.
On rewards, the Commissioner applauded the Aflao sector for the recent intercepted 42 kilograms of substances suspected to be cocaine on Friday, 5 June 2020.
He said although some of the ceased substance is missing "We thought that, we should commend them for what they had achieved while not glossing over the fact that efforts have been made to try to find the whereabouts of the missing substance."
The Commissioner with his entourage visited the various pillars, checkpoints and entry points on the Lome-Aflao border where he advised the personnel to adhere to the various COVID-19 protocols and help educate the citizenry on the pandemic.
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