Close to 1500 workers of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) were reshuffled to drive government’s ambitious transformational revenue mobilization agenda in line with the country’s pace of development.
The ongoing reforms by Government is to improve performance since GRA revenues have failed to reach budget targets, and over the last three years there has been an accumulated gap of about GH¢3.5 billion.
A release from the Public Relations Unit of the Ministry of Finance has indicated that the current Revenue to GDP of 12.6% falls below the West Africa average of 19.9% and therefore there is the need to raise domestic revenue in a more efficient way in order to meet the country’s commitments.
Alongside the exercise, the release also announced the appointments of three persons to head the management of GRA to drive a number of critical transformational changes at the Authority.
They include Mr. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, Acting Commissioner for Domestic Tax Revenue Division, Colonel Kwadwo Damoah (Rtd), Acting Commissioner, Customs Division and Ms. Julie Essiam, Acting Commissioner, Support Services Division.
The new officers will replace Kwesi Gyimah Asante, Commissioner with Domestic tax Revenue Division; Isaac Crentsil, Commissioner with Customs Division and Fred Charles Anson, Commissioner with Support Services Division, who have all been reassigned to the Finance Ministry.
In line with government’s vision the about one thousand four hundred and eighteen (1,418) employees are being rotated to other departments of the organization, while further changes will be made to retool GRA for the critical task of mobilizing revenue to finance the country’s development.
According to the release the reorganization has been necessitated by three (3) main factors: First, the Institution has grown significantly over the years, and current revenues of approximately GH¢38 billion make it one of the biggest Institutions in Ghana. This has created the need for much stronger, world-class structures.
Secondly, the number of employees of the GRA has increased significantly to about 7,000 and another 5,000 have been added through NABCO to shore up the authority’s revenue mobilization capacity, bringing the total employees to 12,000, making GRA now one of the largest employers outside the Civil Service.
Thirdly, it says, there has been increasing need for better domestic revenue mobilization in order to realize the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.
Given all of the above factors, the release emphasized that it has become necessary to make changes to the Management and organizational structure to make it a much better performing institution.
“These changes are expected to bring several improvements in the institution. This includes bringing the best of private sector practices and combining that with public sector technical expertise to ensure that GRA is a better functioning institution. Additionally, these changes are expected to improve the overall level of professionalism and engender a customer-friendly mindset at GRA,” it said.