Accra, Feb 6, GNA - Brigadier General Richardson E. Baiden, Commissioner of Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), said management would put in place appropriate measures to redefine and streamline the technical and operational processes of the service to make it more responsive to the complexity of revenue collection and management.
He said in the quest to position the service to provide 'world class customs service', there would be frequent refresher courses for all officers to up-date their skills and know-how.
Brig. Gen. Baiden was speaking at this Year's National Awards ceremony where more than 20 officers received various awards for their hard work, dedication and commitment to duty.
Mr. Kow Amissah-Koomson, Assistant Commissioner in-charge of Administration and Human Resource had the overall best Manager award, the best senior officer award went to Ms Angelina Faarlong, Principal Collector, Tema Office, while Mr James Nettey, Collection Assistant Grade Two, Wa office, received the best junior officer award.
The Commissioner said capacity building is the key to overcoming the challenges of modernisation and no excuses would be good enough to evade these refresher courses.
He said a far-reaching set of package was going to be put in place for that purpose and conditions and facilities at CEPS Academy would be given a thorough facelift.
Brig Gen. Baiden cautioned the officers about corruption and bribery, which he said, was affecting the good image of the service, adding, "there would be no room for that social cankers this year".
Mr Kodzo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, congratulated the men and women of the service for working hard to exceed their target for last year and pledged his ministry's support for all activities to ensure the total well-being of the revenue agencies in the country.
He said the challenges ahead were enormous, which need collective duty to ensure an increased mobilisation of domestic revenue and a decrease in the reliance on foreign capital for national developments. Mr Baah-Wiredu said to achieve this, his Ministry would focus on putting in place a fiscal policy that would enhance revenue mobilisation so as to attain the desired growth of the economy.
"We will also put in place a trade policy that will expedite movement of goods and people at the ports and across our land frontiers and a reinforcement of security measures to combat commercial fraud in conformity with the World Customs organisation standards.
Mr Yaw Manu Sarpong, Chairman of the Revenue Agencies Governing Board, said the performance of CEPS deserved commendation and congratulate them for their achievements in the past and acknowledge the exceptional revenue collection performance for 2004.
He attributed the increased revenue to the zeal, hard work and dedication to duty by the officers and urged them to keep it up and redouble their efforts with the same tenacity of purpose to improve their performance this year also.
The occasion was climax by a thanksgiving service presided over by Rev. Sam Korankye Ankrah, Overseer of the Royal House Chapel. He asked the officers to seek the face of the Lord and give thanks to Him in all things and the name of the service would go down in the history of the country as the only agency that collect enough revenue for growth and the development of the country.
He said for this country to move forward, "we need to put our resources together and also put people with big hearts at the realm of affairs at vantage areas."
Chief Justice George Kingsley Acquah cautioned workers against laziness, corruption and lack of commitment to duty and urged them to unite to make Ghana an enviable country.
He stressed the need to ask for God's mercy to fill people with truthfulness, obedience and commitment to transform the country. An appeal for funds, which yielded 44.3 million cedis would be donated to the Ghana Heart Foundation.