A tax expert, Abdallah Ali-Nakyea has urged government to adequately resource the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to enable it identify and clamp down on illicit flow of funds in the country.
According to him, the GRA is in dire need of logistics and capacity building for personnel to conduct efficient revenue mobilization.
The Chartered Tax Consultant argued that poor record keeping, and failure to present valid invoices or receipts, among other irregularities are affecting the operations of the revenue collection agency.
Mr. Nakyea in an interview with Starr News on the side of a tax seminar on the 2017 National Budget Statement said “Ghana lost $14.39bn between 2002 and 2011, which is a ten year period. So on average, we were losing $1.4bn every year”.
“In 2016, Switzerland imported $2bn worth of gold from Ghana, the question is what records do we have showing what we left to Switzerland, is it the same value?” he enquired.
The tax seminar is an annual event organized by the Pentecost University College Graduate School (PUCGS) under the theme: “The 2017 National Budget Statement in Perspective: Does it answer the Economic Development Goals of Ghana?”.
Mr Nakyea said Ghana’s budget from 2012 till now indicated that the country was losing revenue through tax exemption, and it had grown from 1.2 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) up to 1.92 per cent of GDP.
PUCGS set up a Standing Committee to review tax, economic and good governance issues in Ghana on yearly basis as a way of contributing its quota to national development, in May 2014, particularly when the national budget statements are presented.
He called for the blocking of all these leakages, in order to have enough money to undertake projects without borrowing.
In his welcome address, Professor Kwame Boasiako Omane-Antwi, Vice Rector and Dean of the PUCGS, said programme implementation had always been the bane of Ghana’s development challenge.
He said as a country “we needed more efficient institutions and attitudes that were conducive to an increase in productivity and to development in general.
“For instance, institutions that allow for mobility, initiative, entrepreneurship, effective competition and equal opportunities; attitudes like efficiency, diligence, punctuality, honesty, openness to change, solidarity and future-oriented; sadly, we lack leadership.”