‘Tax evasion can affect, SDGs attainment’

Some of the Accra high school students donating blood.

Some of the Accra high school students donating blood.

The Upper East Acting Regional Minister, Mr Frank Fuseini Adongo, has cited tax evasion and under declaration of incomes and revenues can affect Ghana’s efforts at attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The acting Regional Minister made the observation in a speech read on his behalf by the Assistant Director of Administration of the Regional Coordinating Council, Ms Yvonne WepelaWonchua, at a regional stakeholder sensitisation forum on tax justice, held in Bolgatanga, on Saturday.

The forum was organised by the Upper East Regional Tax Justice Coalition in collaboration with Rural Initiative for Self-Empowerment-Ghana (Rise Ghana), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), was sponsored by Action Aid Ghana (AAG) , and attracted stakeholders, including the Ghana Revenue Authority, traders, civil society organisations, the clergy and journalists.

Mr Adongo, who is also the Member of Parliament of the Zebilla Constituency, said: “One key factor to the achievement of the SDGs and moving Ghana beyond aid will be the availability of fiscal resources to deliver interventions such as social protection, social services and infrastructure as embedded in the SDGs”.

He said the country needed enough resources for the implementation of programmes and policies towards achieving the SDGs and Ghana beyond Aid.

Mr Adongo stated that although the government had initiated a number of measures, including the merging of the tax collection agents into one umbrella, called the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), the introduction of the tax stamps, the tax identification system, and the paperless system at the ports among others, there was the need for all Ghanaians to honour their tax obligation to enable the government realised its dreams.

Whilst challenging the GRA to leave up to expectation, the acting regional minister urged journalists to expose people who willfully evade, misappropriate and squander revenues.

Mr Adongo commended RISE-Ghana and AAG for organising the programme to sensitise stakeholders on the relevance of the tax justice system to nation building.

“The Regional Coordinating Council is committed  to supporting every effort towards the implementation of the tax justice system  to improve revenue mobilisation to achieving the SDGs  and the Ghana Beyond Aid  Project by the President , Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo”, Mr Adongo indicated.

FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, BOLGATANGA

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