The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has recognized Eric Agbezuke, personnel of the Nation Builders Corp (NABCO) for his vigilance that led to the arrest of a Nigerian carrying fake currency into Ghana.
The award of certificate and citation of merit was presented to the young NABCO beneficiary at the International Customs Day celebration in Accra.
Eric Agbezuke was stationed at one of the unauthorized routes (beats) at the Aflao border on January 17, 2023, when he raised alarm over suspected undeclared goods being carried by a man on a motorbike into Aflao.
The suspect, a 53-year-old man was said to be carrying a Nigerian passport at the time of the arrest.
According to customs, the suspect identified as Arimu Timothy Adipoe was arrested at one of the beats along the Aflao border on a motorbike through the collaboration of other security agencies when he attempted to sneak the fake money into the country.
The amount when converted is worth about GH¢1.5 million on average.
This act of vigilance was highly praised and acknowledged by the institution as the world marks the 70th anniversary of customs day under the theme; nurturing the next generation: promoting a culture of knowledge-sharing and professional pride in customs.
Other personnel who distinguished themselves over the period were also recognized and issued with certificates.
According to the Commissioner of Customs Division of GRA, Seidu Iddi Iddisah, despite the end of the NABCO program by the government, plans are advanced to retain about 100 of the personnel after audit.
He mentioned that, customs is understaffed and the coming on-board of the NABCO personnel, the service improved on its monitoring and revenue mobilization efforts.
Mr. Iddi noted that, the NABCO personnel who will be engaged by Customs will undergo further training and be issued a one-year contract geared towards the retention of qualified ones.
The Deputy Minister for Finance, Dr. John Kumah entreated the Ghana Revenue Authority to endeavour to collect more revenue this year in order to upscale the country’s revenue-to-GDP ratio shortfalls, which currently hovers around 14% to GDP.
Speaking on behalf of Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, the deputy minister noted that, current economic situations coupled with government’s debt exchange program challenges, behoves on the customs division of the GRA to deploy new strategies to improve the country’s revenue mobilization drive.
“Our revenue to GDP remains the lowest in the sub-region at about 14%. Despite exceeding 2022 revenue targets, I will encourage the GRA to adopt innovative strategies to rake in more revenue. I believe that, when the 2023 target of about 105 Billion is achieved, that will reduce the gap to some 54 billion in order to hit government’s target of 20% revenue to GDP” he said in his address.
The Commissioner of Customs, Seidu Iddi Iddisah, in his address, noted that the Ghana Revenue Authority has set a revenue target of 105 billion cedis for the year 2023 which he charged officers of Customs to dedicate their energy to mobilize.