Business News Wed, 23 Oct 2019

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Stop taking order from above - GRA Board Chairman directs customs officers

It would be recalled that some few weeks ago, at a staff durbar, some personnel of GRA lamented about politicians using their influence to secure unwarranted exemptions at the detriment of the state and the taxpayer.

“The same people who came through political appointment have their children as clearing agents who are using exemptions to clear goods. Is that not conflict of interest?” a GRA staff bemoaned at the staff durbar.

“When you are not lucky and want to behave like a proper customs man somebody at the port wants to show you where power lies. He says I will move you and the next day you are moved,” another staff lamented.

The proclamation from the GRA staff which caught the attention of the general public has recently boosted the popularity of a statement made by the new Board Chairman of Ghana Revenue Authority, Professor Emeritus Stephen Adei, who has directed customs officials to re-direct all supposed protocols or special clearance of goods to his office as part of measures to block revenue leakages.

The new Board Chairman of GRA warned that personnel who allow themselves to be used by persons in government under the popular expression of “Order from Above” to evade the payment of duties would be penalized when found culpable.

“The government needs money to work and that any staff who says they have gotten orders from above and do wrong will be disciplined,” he cautioned.

Professor Stephen Adei who made the disclosure during a working visit to the Port of Tema together with the new Acting Commissioner General of GRA, Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah and the Commissioner of Customs, Colonel Kwadwo Damoah also remarked that persons who abuse exemptions will be made to face the full rigors of the law.

Furthermore, during the tour which was to enable the team familiarize themselves with activities at the port and how custom officers are discharging duties, Professor Stephen Adei charged customs officers to work hard and attain the 45 billion Ghana Cedis revenue target by December, 2019.

He said currently an amount of 3.4 billion Ghana Cedis needs to be realized from October 2019 to December 2019 to attain the target.

He expressed confidence in customs officers whom he described as hardworking and assured that they will be given the needed support to enable execute their professional mandate.

“I was quite impressed with my staff. I believe that we have the men and women who can deliver. They need to be motivated and encouraged and given the tools to work with,” he stated.

The GRA Board Chairman who also led the entourage to the new Tema Port Terminal 3 managed by Meridian Port Services described the new terminal as magnificent and welcoming.

“I have visited a lot of countries and I have not gotten to a port as good as this before. I have just been told that we have the heaviest cranes in the whole world. I think that is something we should be proud of,” he said delightfully.

Source: EoP

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