GRA: Howling On Falsehood (1)

Editorial GRA: Howling On Falsehood 1
MAR 26, 2024 LISTEN

Our democracy is “growing” to the extent that it has given the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Workers' Union the voice to talk back at the Vice President of the Republic, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.

Ordinarily, we should be applauding the GRA Workers' Union for daring to challenge the Vice President, which must be a signal that our duty bearers can no longer take us for granted.

However, where were the workers of GRA, when a section of the trading community threatened to close down their shops in protest against harassment at the hands of officials of the Customs Division of the GRA?

We are not spokespersons of the Vice President but we are tempted to come to his defence to expose the hypocrisy of the GRA workers about whose activities at the ports the late President John Atta Mills over a decade ago was not too happy about.

The visit of the former President was necessitated by an investigative work carried by the New Crusading Guide under the headline “Enemies of the Nation.”

During his unannounced visit to the Tema Port, Professor Mills expressed worry about the level of greed exhibited by the officers to the detriment of the national development agenda.

“Look at the number of people who go to school under trees. Look at the number of people who cannot even have access to medical care. We need the revenue to be able to do that. And what is happening? The money you collect does not belong to you. It belongs to the nation and nobody has the right to appropriate what belongs to the nation,” he said.

Professor Mills out of frustration, called for the institution of a law that will require officials of CEPS to declare their assets.

At that time, we did not hear any GRA worker raise a finger in protest against the law professor’s damnation of corruption at the ports.

We have made it very clear in the past that we would not tolerate enemies of the state and the naysayers to derail our concerted efforts to break the back of poverty.

Earlier, we declared war on such characters and we reiterate that position in the case of GRA workers, who over the years have stood against our progress. We call on all fellow Ghanaians to join us to revisit the revulsion of late President Mills of the corrupt practices of some if not majority of GRA workers. Furthermore, we urge GRA workers to bear in mind the infrastructural deficits in health, education, water and sanitation as well as roads before putting the collection of envelopes above the state revenue.

Today, instead of insisting that we take every Tom, Dick and Harry through the probity and accountability test, we have limited it to politicians and indeed only the appointees of the governing party. That is why officers of the most corrupt institution in the country are walking freely and show off as workers of CEPS.

Instead of incurring the wrath of the people, we celebrate them although these workers are part of the nation’s problems. The tragedy of our time is also our tolerance for absolute freedom and misrepresentation of our constitution.

And we seem to have taken democracy to mean an opportunity to show disrespect to authority. Perhaps we are to blame for this misnomer because of literary interpretation of participatory democracy to mean what our local radio stations inappropriately call “kabi na menka bi.”

Now what did the Vice President say about the operations of the GRA that has drawn the ire of the GRA Workers' Union? The Vice President complained about the harassment of business owners in their bid to collect tax revenue, arguing that the act is as a result of unrealistic targets the GRA sets for its compliance officers each month.

And for this reason, Dr. Bawumia said the strategy of the GRA officials is, “you go back to the tax payers, the same people who are already paying tax, and then you have to come up with a new reason why they have to pay more, so you come up with all manner of stuff.”

Source: Daily Guide