The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in the Upper East Region failed to meet its revenue target for 2018 by GH¢4,818,735.27
Out of the targeted amount of GH¢18,520,000.00, the office was able to collect GH¢13,701,264.73, which represented 26.02 per cent shortfall.
These were made known at a press soiree organised by the GRA in Bolgatanga, to brief the media and stakeholders in the region about their revenue mobilisation trend over the previous year and to encourage each stakeholder to contribute to increase revenue collection in the region.
Mr Baffour Yaw Asare, the sector commander of Customs Division of GRA in a speech read on his behalf by Mr Samuel Owusu, Chief Revenue Officer, mentioned inadequate staff for patrols, inadequate logistics and the depreciation of the Ghana Cedi against other currencies including the CFA as the reasons for the shortfall.
He pointed out that to help address the challenges and to be able to meet the GH¢18,511, 720.03 set for the year 2019, the Customs Division of the GRA, with the support of the NABCO interns had intensified its patrols along the frontiers.
The sector commander said his outfit had also blocked all revenue leakages stemming out from the diversions of transit free zones and Re-Export Cargo.
He entreated the media in the region to help sustain the education and sensitisation of the public on the need to honour their tax obligations.
“It is the hope of the GRA that by helping to shape public opinion towards their civic obligations, the citizenry will see payment of taxes as a sacred national duty. This will help boost revenue mobilisation through voluntary compliance,” Mr Asare stressed.
He told the stakeholders that as part of measures to broaden the tax net, GRA last year introduced some tax policy initiatives such as the Tax Identification Number (TIN) registration, Excise Tax Stamps and Tax Amnesty.
The forum also provided adequate space for the media practitioners to ask series of questions bordering on tax collections and answers provided by the leadership of GRA and some staff of the organisation.
From Samuel Akapule, Bolgatanga