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03.06.2019 Headlines

Demo Looms At Customs Over Damoah’s Appointment

By Kofi Safo Antwi & Dominic Jale
The Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS)
JUN 3, 2019 HEADLINES
The Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS)

There are heated tension emanating from the Ghana Revenue Authority (Customs Division) over the appointment of Col. Kwadwo Damoah (Rtd) as acting Commissioner, side-stepping true substance for a 'shadow.'

Anytime soon therefore, possibly this very week, a crippling demonstration or perhaps a biting sit-down strike could arrive from the middle of nowhere to weigh down on government, just to let it know that Damoah’s appointment instead of any of three true candidates, was as wrong as two left shoes.

The irate lads at the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) are oblivious of the fact that even though they are a security service and are technically barred from strike actions, they cross their hearts in a sworn determination that as sure as the sun will shine, the demonstration or strike action will come off despite government’s clever imposition of thorny impediments.

Red-eyed representatives of the CEPS Staff Association who represent the whole gamut of workers of the Service, just cannot understand how government side-stepped the choice of a real CEPS personnel with adept knowledge of Service operations, and instead, chose someone with a combative military background.

The retired Col. Damoah, thought to be a nuisance by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) while in government, was until last Monday a member of the board of directors of the Service, having been appointed by the ruling NPP. Previously, he had been hunted down rather uncomfortably like a fugitive running away from justice, barely rendering him breathless during the tenureship of the past government.

Flesh-on-skull insiders at CEPS say, the most qualified of the trio of personnel is Messrs. Mate Kojo who has indept knowledge of the workings of the Service, yet, has been branded NDC. There is also Dr. Oko Ampofo, who has worked with the World Customs and World Trade Organizations and wields insight into Service operations, and Asante Berko, who falls a little way short of the two.

“And so with such a rich store of correct personnel to shop from to appoint as Commissioner, we are at a loss as to how a government with such promising foresight as this particular one should forsake the positive substance for the negative shadow”, a major source told THE RISING SUN last week.

Leading lights among the organizers of the coming hell say, to have started off several positive innovations within the Service only to cap it at the very top with the appointment of a military man with little or no knowledge of Service operations, is tantamount to the tail wagging the dog instead of the other way round.

It will be recalled that at the fag-end of the 1990s a certain Nii Okai Adjei was brought from elsewhere to head CEPS as Commissioner. In the process he courted an extremely bad company and disloyal support from a wide range of people connected to the Service, virtually driving government to a low on productivity during his tenure.

With this precedent as an advisory guide, the generality of CEPS personnel finds it difficult to comprehend just why government, having been afflicted with a painful boil around the neck, would want to invite yet a bigger one with all its excruciating pain accompanying it.

Government, over the weekend quietly appointed Col. Damoah as acting Commissioner of the Customs Division with Amishadai Owusu-Amoah as Domestic Tax Revenue acting Commissioner and Julie Essiam (Ms), as acting Commissioner of Support Services and has since generated so much heat.

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