Dealing With Corruption At The Ports

Governance in Ghana since independence, has been characterized by corruption, and become a bane to the country’s development.

Both civilian and military governments have failed the litmus test on corruption.

Though some Ghanaians paid the ultimate price for it in the past, it did, and has not deterred people from engaging in it.

Corruption has eaten so deep into almost every fabric of the country, politics, the churches, civil service the public sector business community, and the media no exception.

What is most disturbing, however is the deep-seated corrupt practices going on at tax collection points across the country.

The Presidential Task Force (PTC) has exposed the endemic corruption all over, with tens of millions of Cedis going into private pockets, instead of the national coffers.

What is even mind-boggling is the sheer impunity with which officials at the collection points connive with businessmen to dupe the country, of the monies needed for development.

Our front page story on Thursday, February 20, 2014 told just a bit of the story, because it dwelt on the corrupt activities in the warehousing regime that is administered by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority.

The revelation that the Task Force retrieved over GH¢5 million from some importers within two months, is a clear indication that some officials of the Customs Division are in cahoots with importers, and duping the country of millions of Ghana Cedis, in import duties.

If this is not true, why should it take a Task Force to get the importers to pay such a huge amount to the government? Again it the Task Force had not stepped in, where would the have gone? We dare ask. The answer is obvious.

While commending the Presidential Task Force for its efforts, we recommend that the corrupt officials involved in those dubious deals be dealt with, according to the law.

We also suggest that not only should the importers pay the taxes they evaded but other punitive sanctions should be imposed on them to serve as deterrents for other with such nefarious intentions.

Furthermore, the regulatory agencies in the import management process should be strengthened to plug all the loopholes corrupt officials, exploit, to dupe the country.

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