The Ghana Community Network Services Ltd (GCNet) has received honours from the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in recognition of its deployment of the Ghana customs Management System for Customs operations.
This was at an event organised by the Customs Division to mark the 2014 World Customs Organisation (WCO) Day, during which WCO Certificates of Merit were presented to selected organisations that have contributed positively to the work of GRA (Customs Division).
Some customs officers, who acquitted themselves creditably over the past year, including two officers who had shown bravado during a duty tour in Cote d’Ivoire as part of the UN Peace Keeping Force, were also awarded.
Two junior officers, who resisted bribes from smugglers and recovered large sums of revenue for Customs, also received recognition and rewards.
In an address to mark the occasion, the Minister of Finance, Mr Seth Terkper, whose speech was delivered on his behalf by the Ministry’s Chief Director, Maj. M. S. Tara (retd), noted that the theme, “Communication: Sharing Information For Better Cooperation”, was apt in terms of the negative public perception about Customs.
He stated that although the GRA had embarked upon a reform and modernisation programme, the public perception about the GRA as a service provider was still a far cry.
Mr Terkper, therefore, charged the Customs Division of GRA to endeavour to improve upon its service delivery, communicate effectively with its publics and share ideas with trade operators who transacted business with it.
“In so doing, Customs’ ultimate goal of revenue collection and achievement of its revenue targets will be made easier,” he said.
In a goodwill message, Mr Emmanuel Darko of GCNet, stated that communication was critical for development; and having deployed innovations as part of the 2013 WCO theme, it was important that in 2014, Customs made it a point to promote the new ideas to ensure efficient and effective practices.
He also observed that the theme emphasised the pivotal role that Customs played and hence the need for it to communicate effectively with its various stakeholders in undertaking its multi-faceted front-line roles of revenue collection, trade facilitation, narcotics control, intellectual property rights protection and consumer protection against fake and unwholesome products.
A workshop was organised for Customs officers as part of the WCO Day to outline the importance of communication and the most effective modes of communication and information sharing.