The Damongo Collection point of the Ghana Revenue Authority of the Custom and Excise Division in the Savannah Region, has for a second consecutive time in two years, exceeded its revenue tax target of GHC3, 105,202.12 with breakdowns from import tax and petroleum revenues.

In 2022, the collection was given a total revenue target of GHC 20,000 but realized GHC550, 000 mainly from seized vehicles with tampered chassis and smuggled cars.

In 2023, the Collection was tasked to collect a revenue target of GHC 85,050,000.00, GHC867, 500.00 for imports, and GHC4, 186,300.00 for Petroleum tax revenue but before the end of the year, in October 2023, it collected double of the target.

The immediate past Sector Commander of Damongo Collection, Assistant Commissioner Labujata Hamidu, who disclosed this during a farewell ceremony towards her retirement in Damongo in the West Gonja Municipality, noted that "as at the end of October 2023, we have been able to collect GHC88, 159, 002.12 exceeding the revenue target by GHC3, 105,202 with the breakdown as follows: Import revenue collected is GHC 1, 231, 450, 85 exceeding the target of GHC363, 952.85. Petroleum tax revenue collected is GHC86, 927, 27 which has also been exceeded by GHC2, 741,249, 27."

"Most of the revenues from import were accrued from interceptions of smuggled goods and seized vehicles with tampered chassis at the Kulmasa, Bole, and Yapei checkpoints “Assistant Commissioner Labujata explained.

The Retired Assistant Commissioner said she devoted thirty-two years of her life executing the job with love and dedication leading to some previous achievements and that of the Damongo Collection.

According to her, although collection points are given a revenue target, she literally begged for a revenue target because she was determined to work.

"Damongo Collection was just Bole station and one station cannot make a collection. So, I applied for the handing over of the posts and checkpoints within the Savannah Region. Then, I started getting excuses as to why those bases can't be handed over but thankfully, in January same year, they were handed over to us", Madam Labujata said.

According to her, she accepted the challenge to move up North from the Tema Collection on March 22nd, 2021 to establish the Damongo Collection with limited resources. She said she had to apply for every single resource including a total number of 30 members of staff with 20 being on contract that is supposed to be for about 100 officers.

The retired Assistant Commissioner of GRA lamented that officers including new recruits, continue to refuse postings to Collections, especially Damongo without any repercussions.

"Since the creation of the Collection, there have been three major postings. In the first one, three sportsmen were posted and they all found their way back to Accra while for the other two, a few officers reported and asked for permission to go and prepare and never came back while the rest never reported at all and there were no repercussions", She bemoaned.

She thus appealed to the Authority to support the Damongo office especially in the area of accommodation for staff.

She said the Collection was given a 10-acre parcel of land that needed serious attention for its development to accommodate officers.

"Apart from officers renting at a very high rate, their safety is sometimes threatened, especially when they have made some arrests, hence the urgent need for official accommodation for them."

As the first commander for the Damongo Collection point, Madam Labujata Hamidu revealed that she had to apply for every resource including her own vehicle, a driver, and an accountant, and all of them were not immediately granted, yet she made do with what was available and exceeded her revenue target.

She has handed over the Command to her second in Command, Kudlo A. Nyame as the new Damongo Collection Sector Commander of GRA, who also pledged to make good use of the mentorship he received from her predecessor.

The Commissioner of the Ghana Revenue Authority Customs Division, Seidu Iddrisu Iddisah commended her for her dedication to duty and achievements. He urged officers, particularly junior ranks to emulate her.

While acknowledging the success of Madam Labujata Hamidu, the Commissioner noted that " leadership is to make sure that you use the scarce resources to think outside the box to solve the problem, and the amount of revenue she has collected so far this year, even exceeding the target just before the end of the year shows that she is a good manager."

"Like any other manager, you are given a task without the resources. I always tell Sector Commanders that if resources were enough for everybody, there wouldn't have been the need for the word leader", the Commissioner stated.

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