The Upper East Regional Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) exceeded its revenue target for 2022 by 20.24 percent despite infrastructure and logistical challenges
The Bolgatanga collection mobilised more than GH?27.6 million, outperforming the target of GH?22.96 million by GH?4.6 million at the end of 2022.
Mr Samuel Owusu, Chief Revenue Officer, speaking at the end year party of the GRA, said the figure also represented a growth of 59.84 per cent over GH?17 million collected in 2021.
The Chief Revenue Officer, who is also the Upper East Regional Commander of the Customs Division, GRA, explained that his outfit could have done better, and attributed the challenge to the protracted Bawku conflict that interrupted operations.
“At the regional level, the Bawku crisis which has lingered on till now dealt a big blow to our revenue drive in that enclave having four stations coming from that area.
We have managed to register and licensed a warehouse to operate as a private bonded warehouse, which is first of its kind in the region. This will help us properly monitor what goes in and what comes out for revenue purpose,” he said.
The Sector Commander said the GRA anticipated a more challenging year, considering the increase in the government’s 2023 revenue target and urged the stakeholders to support their efforts to mobilise the needed revenue for sustainable development.
“The target for the Bolgatanga collection for this year is GH?41.2 million, an increase of 79.44 percent over last year’s target. This, I must admit, is not only huge but scary and daunting because most of the merchandise that use our corridor are zero rated,” he indicated.
To this end, Mr Owusu explained that the GRA would intensify education on tax compliance to change attitude and behaviour of Ghanaians and the taxpaying public towards their tax obligations to enable them to honour their tax duties and boost revenue.
“We will deploy fully all Nation Builders Corps interns to cover every operational area under our control,” he said.
He said the GRA in the region was strategising to take advantage of the removal of the discount on benchmark values and the increase in the Value Added Tax to 15 percent to make inroads in their collection.
“Our enforcement unit thrives on information in order to be effective in its operations and let me hasten to say that we would continue to rely on our stakeholders, especially informants and the media for information since they have in the past assisted in this direction,” he appealed.
Mr Stephen Yakubu, Upper East Regional Minister, who acknowledged the achievement of the GRA, challenged them to work hard to achieve the target for 2023, and added that the government relied heavily on revenue collected by the GRA to undertake development projects.