Massive revenue leakage at ports

Revenue leakages at the country’s ports, particularly the Aflao and Elubo Customs entry borders, robbed the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) of several millions of Ghana cedis, making it difficult for the Authority to achieve its targets.

This is coming at the time the government is considering introducing new taxes. A number of alleged corrupt Customs Officers were, however, interdicted over the anomaly.

According to GRA’s latest figures gleaned by DAILY GUIDE, the Customs Division of the GRA missed its target by GH¢341.26 million on duties on imported goods, representing 23.6 percent for the month of June alone.

The provisional June 2018 revenue collection report of the GRA indicates that the Customs Division of the GRA, which projected to collect GH¢1,445.40 million in duties at the country’s ports and other revenue checkpoints realised GH¢1,104.14 million.

A recent case in point that caused revenue leakage to the State was a situation where an importer was slapped with a 300 percent penalty for under-declaration of consumables, particularly rice and oil imported through Cote d’Ivoire via the Elubo border only for him to get the penalty slashed by half through an influential person in the current New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration.

The said importer, who was said to have enjoyed protection from a security capo in the previous NDC administration, has penetrated the current administration.

He has managed to warm his way out of tax payment, bleeding the country’s revenue chest.

Some companies also evaded tax at the Aflao border after carting their goods imported through Lome Port in Togo from bonded warehouses. The list available to DAILY GUIDE is tall.

The report, meanwhile, indicated that the GRA recorded total tax revenue of GH¢3,795.08 million in June, this year as against the target of GH¢3,678.65 million, exceeding the target by GH¢116.43 million or 3.2 percent.

The performance for the month represented a nominal growth rate of 24.5 percent over the same period last year, while domestic revenue nominally grew by 41.9 percent.

Revenue from the Customs Division suffered a negative 4.1 percent growth nominally because of the underhand deals at the ports.

The GRA said although it targeted to collect GH¢1,572.55 million in direct taxes, it was able to register GH¢2,078.45 million in collections, an excess of GH¢505.90 million, representing 32.2 percent.

Indirect taxes fell short of its target of GH¢660.70 million by GH¢48.21 million, resulting in the collection of GH¢612.49 million, representing a shortfall of 7.3 percent.

Total domestic revenue collected was GH¢2,690.94 million, exceeding the targeted amount of GH¢2,233.25 million.

The excess was GH¢457.69 million, representing 20.5 percent.

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