Madam Sheila Vigbedor, the Aflao Sector Commander of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), has said the Sector could not meet its revenue target for lasy 2019 as a result of the closure of Nigeria's western border.
She said the closure of the border to goods coming into and leaving Nigeria in contravention of the protocol of the sub-region on movement of goods and persons, affected the inflow of imports and led the Sector to record a shortfall of GH¢18.57 million.
The Aflao Sector, which was assigned a revenue target of GH¢164.14 million was able to collect GH¢145.57 million, representing 88.69 per cent.
The Sector Commander made this known at the end-of-year get-together for officers, meant to celebrate the successes chalked, take note of failures and review strategies to overcome challenges to achieve the optimum in 2020.
She commended the commitment and dedication of staff to duty and the collaborative efforts of other security services, which made the Sector to record remarkable achievements such as the interception of a total number of 151 uncustomed vehicles, fake $761,900, 48kgs of narcotic drugs, large quantities of fake pharmaceutical products and fake electricity meters.
Madam Vigbedor called on GRA Management to address the Sector's challenges, which included limited availability of operational vehicles and accommodation for staff to improve its revenue mobilisation efforts and anti-smuggling patrols.
She asked officers to continue to work hard to enable the Sector collect the assigned GH¢184.35 million for the year, despite the persistence of the Nigerian situation and the fact that the Sector had already missed out on its target for the first quarter saying, “strategies have been designed to minimise possible revenue leakages and with God on our side, we shall surely succeed".
In an address read on behalf of Mr Kwadwo Damoah, Commissioner of Customs Division of GRA, he acknowledged the problems of officers and disclosed that he had taken steps to draw Management's attention to resolve them.
He entreated officers to rededicate themselves for the task ahead this year noting, “We must understand that the solution to our problems lies in our own hands because the more revenue we are able to collect, the more the quantum of our retention”.
Mr Kofi Demetia, Ghana's Ambassador to Togo and a former officer of Customs, encouraged the Sector to do more to meet its target for this year, while admonishing officers not to yield to bribes for the common good of all.
The well-attended event chaired by Mr Elliot Edem Agbenorwu, the Municipal Chief Executive for Ketu South, awarded hardworking staff of the Collection unit, with Mr Enoch Relwende sweeping three awards at the ceremony.