After years of renting office space for some of its headquarters staff, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has commenced the construction of an ultramodern and spacious office complex at Kanda in Accra to accommodate all headquarters staff under one roof.
When completed, the new GRA head office complex would boast of a seven-storey twin tower with a total office area of 13,725 square meters (sqm).
The office space is expected to be enough to host all of the authority’s headquarters staff, who are currently housed in the existing head office at the Ministries and six other rented buildings in Accra.
It would also save the revenue administration and mobilisation agency the payment of more than GH¢4 million in annual rent for head office staff alone.
During a media tour of the site around the Jubilee House on Monday, June 20, workers were seen excavating the ground and finalising processes for the foundational pillars to be erected.
The Project Manager, Sidney Quaye, said work was progressing smoothly and the two-year timeline would be met as the work was being done on schedule.
The tour was to apprise the paper of the progress of work on the project.
An Assistant Commissioner and Head of Communications and Public Affairs at GRA, Florence Asante, described the project as historic, and transformational.
She said it was necessary to end the years of renting and the scattered nature of GRA head office staff due to the lack of a spacious head office facility to accommodate all.
Mrs Asante told the media after the tour that the construction work started in January this year and was now due to be completed in two years’ time.
She said it was being executed by Devtraco Builders Limited, which won a competitive tender, at about GH¢491 million.
She said the contractor has been paid about GH¢74.36 million as mobilisation fees, paving the way for the construction process to begin.
“This is an ultra-modern, expansive and imposing structure, looking at the plan and the artist's impression in line with our transformational agenda.
“As you may know, GRA operates mainly from its head office situated off the Starlets ’91 Road at the Ministries Area.
“This building, together with its annexes are legacies from the former revenue agencies that merged to become the GRA but the scattered nature of the staff and the congestion at the current head office does not augur well for tax collection and administration.
“In fact, it inconveniences taxpayers and the general public hence the decision to construct a single building that can house all,” she said
Mrs Asante said the project was long overdue, given its immense benefits to the authority and the country as a whole.
According to her, the current GRA head office at the Ministries was unable to house all the relevant staff.
As a result, she said some staff, who were supposed to be operating from the head office, were currently operating from the Shippers House, the Heritage Towers and the Platinum Heights.
The Head of Communications and Public Affairs said the rest were operating from the Osu Revenue Towers while others were stationed at the Customs Head Office, all in Accra.
Conceived around 2016, the GRA head office under construction was initially envisaged to be located at the Airport Area, opposite the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, in Accra.
Mrs Asante, however, said it was relocated to the current site at Kanda in line with the government’s decision to host key agencies of the Ministry of Finance in one location to be referred to as the national financial enclave.
She explained that the Kanda site was then allocated to GRA, the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), among other agencies to start the construction of their head offices.
According to her, the change in site delayed the project timelines but expressed the hope that work would now continue unabated.
She said the authority and the contractor had also agreed to execute the project in the new site under the same terms as was agreed with the earlier one although the Kanda project was bigger than the one that was to be executed at the Airport Area.