Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

 The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has charged the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority to put in more efforts to reduce revenue leakages at the ports.

According to him, this will bolster government’s quest to significantly improve Ghana’s tax to Gross Domestic Product, from 13% to 20% by 2024.

Speaking at the International Customs Day celebration under the theme “Scaling up Customs Digital Transformation by embracing a Data Culture and Building a Data Ecosystem”, the Minister urged Customs to work efficiently to support government’s quest to boost the country’s revenue.

“Notwithstanding the successes chalked, I am confident that there is more that GRA and Customs Division in particular can do to further enhance its level of efficiency, whiles reducing revenue leakages at the ports to its barest minimum. Towards these efforts, the ministry believes that it will add on significantly in improving Ghana’s tax to GDP ratio from the current 13% to 20% by 2024”.

He assured the Customs Division of its upmost support to achieve it goals.

“Be assured that the Ministry of Finance will continue to support you particularly all customs related matters geared towards revenue mobilisation as well as border controls. It is indeed the surest way for us as a country to grow from our reliance gods” 

He advised Customs to take advantage of available data from key institutions like the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, the Ghana Airports Company as well as other regulatory bodies for purposes of revenue assurance.

Meanwhile, Reverend Dr. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, Commissioner General of the Ghana Revenue Authority, says his outfit is working on a data warehouse system which is set to be completed by middle of the year.

“We are working on a data warehouse system for the entire GRA and this data warehouse system will ensure that the customs data is integrated into the domestic tax data and also integrated into the third-party data which includes the DVLA, Lands and many other departments. This is going to be a huge database, that allows for cross referencing and identifying opportunities for compliance as far as tax payments are concerned”

The International Customs Day Celebration, is observed worldwide by the Customs community every year on 26th January.

In Ghana, the august occasion saw dignitaries from government, former personnel of the Customs Division of the GRA and stakeholders in attendance.

This year’s celebration was climaxed with the distribution of World Customs Organization certificates to some personnel for displaying a high level of professionalism and hard work along their line of duty.

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