Revenue mobilisation at the Hamile Border post of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in the Upper West Region, has suffered a hitch following the closure of the Ghana-Burkina Faso border, a Senior Revenue Officer, Gabriel Anokye, has said.
He indicated that prior to the closure of the borders almost two years ago; the border recorded movement of over 1,200 trucks in a month, but said the number had reduced drastically to between 700 and 800 per month and greatly affecting revenue mobilisation.
“Revenue mobilisation at the border had already gone down with the advent of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which led to restrictions on movement and the subsequent closure of borders,” he added.
He stated that the trucks which passed through the border mostly transported goods from the Tema Port to neighbouring Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and other areas and said the volumes had reduced with the disturbances in the sub-region.
“Obviously once there are disturbances, curfews will be imposed to restrict movement of people and goods and business people would want to reduce their investment because no one would want to transact business in an environment deprived of peace so definitely the number of imports will reduce,” he said.
Mr Anokye projected that if the borders were officially opened and there was relative peace in neighbouring countries, import and export of commodities would surge leading to increased number of vehicles at the border and eventually a rise in revenue generation for the country.
He explained that trucks were disinfected before they were allowed in or out of the country to prevent possible spread of the Coronavirus.
Mr Anokye used the opportunity to advise residents along the border to avoid using unapproved routes into neighbouring countries in the midst of the disturbances and said such illegal migrants could land themselves in trouble if care was not taken.
For his part, the Immigration Officer in charge of the Hamile Sector, Chief Superintendent Edmund Owusu Ansah, stated that the border had not experienced movement of refugees from Burkina Faso into the country as a result of the disturbances in their country and said they were alert and prepared for any eventuality.
“Although we are constrained logistically, we are not putting up our hands in the air in despair, we are really on our toes and working to ensure that we maintain the safety of residents and also halt the movement of illegal migrants,” he stated.
He encouraged residents to collaborate with the service and alert them on the movement of illegal migrants to ensure that suspicious people were not allowed into the country.
FROM LYDIA DARLINGTON FORDJOUR, HAMILE