Tension is brewing between the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Customs Division, the Ghana Police Service and Ghana Immigration Service over their duties at the borders.
This paper has observed that institutions like the Police Service and the Ghana Immigration Service have virtually taken over the duties of GRA-Customs in the full glare of the public. This development has given cause to many people to complain since these institutions are not mandated to carry out the duties of GRA-Customs; ending up losing revenue to the State.
It is indeed true that there are people mandated by law to collect National revenue for the State without interference from any quarters of division.
Checks conducted at the border communities have revealed that the police and immigration service officials have been arresting uncustomed goods and have allegedly refused to hand over to the appropriate authority who are trained to handle that, for duty to be paid.
Speaking to a Businessman and a Security Analyst, Mr. Daniel Akpaloo, he indicated that “What you would see is that they themselves negotiating with the smugglers and try to hide these goods from Customs so that they can evade custom duties and taxes. They do these all these while and it becomes part of them.”
He believes that their actions, and conduct sometimes bring fight among them and if nothing is done to check these activities “we should not expect any taxes for development infrastructure in our communities, school, portable water, healthcare delivery, electricity, salary for public sector workers and others. There will be total collapse of the economy soon due to these activities.”
He urged the police and Ghana immigration service to desist from their acts and allow Customs do its duties as mandated by law.
According to him, the actions by the police and immigration has caused an increase in erosion in revenue collections for the country.
He cited Sogakorpe and Aflao borders, which are the major places where these issues are being recorded and the state losses revenue due to the actions of “some of these selfish officers that are to assist customs to collect states revenue.”
Daniel Akpaloo also called for the redefinition of the roles of the Three institutions for the public to know which amongst them has the power over State revenue.
These two institutions he said, are infringing management of state assets causing public grievances that required strict punishment.
“Revenues generated is what is used to pay their monthly salaries so it is just in order for them to collaborate, coordinate for effective revenue collections,” he said.
He also commended some security agencies for their support in providing security and help in reducing crime in our communities.
“These are exceptional people that serve their country. They absolutely fall under the rule of law and they deserve commendation.”