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21.03.2007 Feature Article

CEPS! A Factor to look at

I must first of all, as a patriotic citizen of my country give thanks to our security agencies most especially the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service for the abled manner in which they have been able to handle the affair of tax duties in our country.

Searching through my mind and looking back and now, I must sincerely applaud the sector for a laudable work done since its inception and now. The sector in the year 2006 to my utmost surprise performed immensely in the area of revenue collection at our borders, ports and many other points where they are designated to focus on.

When I sit back and sometimes hear about the fact that, targets have been exceeded and therefore more money is entering into the coffers of the nation, I actually feel like being in a state of frenzy but what I normally undertake is to give thanks to God and more so congratulate the government for the role it played in making that achievement a reality.

Government should as a matter of urgency put some measures in place in order to assist the sector to become the icon of among revenue agencies in Ghana. This I believe should be the focus of attention even as we celebrate our Golden Jubilee anniversary. Resources should be made available in order to assist the sector to improve upon the current situation as in advancing the course of the nation's city.

However, I advocate on the fact that, stiffer punishment should be instituted against perpetrators of crime as in exposing and punishing them against the evil act should be initiated. I therefore suggest that, if must swift, severe and certain it is to serve as a deterrent. The resources and equipments at their disposal should be effectively used to realize their revenue target for this year.

CEPS and other security agencies should co-operate to fight the increasingly crime wave and economic sabotage in the country. They should not relent in their efforts to flush out who are bent on pursuing the unwanted agenda and must in fact use their equipments to outwit them. Its officers should desist from the habit of using their office to amass wealth of which I advise strongly against and called for drastic measures against such offenders.

Inasmuch as possible, the general public should assist them to achieve their target by coming forward with information that should help track the smugglers. If for instance, the Northern Region last year exceeded its revenue target of ¢4 billion to ¢6 billion then I believe the rest of the other regions if properly enhanced and the behaviour of certain officers change from bribery to the belief that responsibilities on their part should not be compromised, then Ghana I believe will be rich in its reserve accounts.

Moreover, the tireless efforts and dedication towards work on the part of CEPS officers should be acknowledged and rewarded every year in order to instill confidence in themselves.

According to Ho sector commander of the CEPS, Assistant Commissioner Fredua Agyeman-Boakye “The wide expense of far rain, inadequate staffing and certain unavoidable logistical constraints had in recent times combined to present a perennial challenge to our revenue mobilization effort and combating crime hence the need for collaboration to fight social canker.” War against smugglers declared by CEPS in the Northern Region 2007 is a practice other regional CEPS officers must emulate. CEPS should desist from colluding with importers in order to allow free passage to the disadvantage of the nation.

At this juncture, I will want to make a passionate appeal to the security agencies especially CEPS to define their roles appropriately in order to protect their integrity. This has led to an incident that took place in Accra when CEPS officers pounced on AMA officers as they go about their mandated duties in Accra simply because there was wrong parking done by the AMA workers as they pursue their duty. The car was towed by CEPS official which ended up in a confrontation between the two sides.

Samuel Laryea
[email protected]

Samuel Laryea
Samuel Laryea, © 2007

This author has authored 5 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: SamuelLaryea

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