GRA experienced revenue shortfalls in dollars since 2012 – New Boss

Business News of Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Source: The Finder

2017-02-21

Emmanuel Kofi NtiMr Emmanuel Kofi Nti, Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA)

New Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr Emmanuel Kofi Nti, has revealed that the authority recorded revenue shortfalls between 2012 and 2016.

According to him, even though the authority doubled revenue in cedi terms within the period, the revenue in dollar terms remain same.

He explained that GRA mobilised GHS11.46billion in 2012, the equivalent of $6.19 billion.

In 2016, he said the authority raised GHS26.42 billion, which was also equivalent $6.29 billion which means that revenue went up by only $100 million during the period.

The rise of revenue, in cedi terms, can be attributed to the depreciation of the local currency.

Mr Nti, who made the revelation while taking over from his successor, Mr George Blankson, added that when the $380million special petroleum revenue is deducted from the revenue, then it means that there was a revenue shortfall.

“We have to double the revenue that comes through us to ensure that the lofty dreams of President Nana Akufo-Addo DO not become a mirage,” he stressed.

Mr Nti emphasised the importance of revenue mobilisation to the development of the economy, saying “without revenue, socio-economic development cannot be achieved”.

He urged the personnel to work together as a team and not as members of individual departments and units under the authority.

“We must work as a team with a focus to make the country better, not as staff of the value added tax unit, customs or any other unit,” he said; and indicated that staff of the various divisions could be moved to other divisions where their expertise were required.

The hand-over ceremony, which is the first-ever for the transition of power since the establishment of the authority, saw the staff and management of the GRA paying glowing tribute to the outgoing Commissioner-General.

Mr Blankson headed the tax administration body in Ghana from December 2009 to 2016 following the integration and modernisation of the three main revenue collecting agencies.

Representatives of the various departments and units of the authority presented citations and gifts to Mr Blankson and his wife while the leaders of the organised group of the GRA praised Mr Blankson for improving the welfare of the staff during his tenure of office.

To signify Mr Blankson’s exit, personnel of the Custom’s Division of the GRA accompanied him as he stood in a pickup and waved to the cheering staff and some friends and family members who had come to witness the event amid brass band music.

The GRA was formed in December 2009 under the Ghana Revenue Authority Act 791.

That led to the integration of four government revenue agencies, namely: the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Valued Added Tax (VAT) Service, the Customs Exercise and Preventive Service (CEPS) and the Revenue Agencies Governing Board

In his speech, Mr Blankson said he had the hope that revenue mobilisation would grow at an increased rate and show a positive outlook in the years ahead due to the commitment of the government and the current Minister of Finance.

Additionally, he said the management of the GRA had the capacity to hold high the torch of change and dedication to reform revenue administration and enhance tax administration in the coming years.

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