Import through Tema Port is the major source of revenue generation for this country. But there has been recent alleged of corruption at the port that many believes affecting activities at the port. Some have argued that there is very little activity at the Tema port and that import activity is very low and others too believe businesses are booming.
The volume of import since the beginning of the year is said to be low. If there has been a significant drop in importation into the country, then it could as a result of the increased on duties.
It is believe that this could be because of the time of difficulties the year. It could also be a dip in import because of the additional tariffs.
The issue of the import at the port became deepen after the Cedi started falling against the dollar. However, barely some few weeks after Government and Bank of Ghana put in place measures to address the Cedi depreciation, the Ghana’s Cedi has started gaining strength.
But the increase in duties could help boost Government revenue but if it results in a drop in import then it is argued that Government plan would have been defeated and that could lead to a drop in Government revenue and a widening deficit.
But if the increase in duty is to discourage import, so that the cedi does not suffer, then the reduction in import will be a plus.
Last year, Government announced that more than GH¢60,000 was recovered by the Presidential taskforce constituted by President John Dramani Mahama to help stop revenue loopholes at the ports.The figure is said to be collections made from the Tema port alone, which is one of the many routes through which goods enter the country.
The taskforce was mandated to block leakages at the various entry points to the country and to increase Government revenue generation.
During the period the taskforce identified some 30 companies at the Tema port, whose illegal activities have been contributing to the huge loss of revenue to the country.
It is sad to note that there are some institutions/companies and individuals import goods into the country who are dodging in paying the right taxes and levies to the state.
Most officers at the port are allegedly intentionally turning a blind eye to such malpractices because they allegedly connive with the importers.
Some of the companies refused to VAT invoices and at the same time encourage their clients not to take VAT invoices. These companies have been doing this to make lot money at the expense of the state.
If this malpractice continues in the country, especially at the Tema port, the country will be developed and there will lack of some developmental activities.
For instance, if as a country we did generate enough revenue, there will lack of infrastructures such as hospitals, roads, schools etc break down; lack of proper social services for the people; hospitals are starved of adequate drugs; poor educational facilities and among others.
The list above shows that we need to be vigilant in all our activities as Ghanaians to protect our country. It is hard time to tell these companies to do the right thing, so far as they opted to operate businesses in Ghana.
Once we are ‘warning’ these companies, it is important to let our officials at these revenue agencies or areas to be very vigilant, transparent in their operations and commitment to save the country from collapsing.
If as a country we are able to address these kinds of issues on revenue, Ghana will not need to go other countries to beg for money for development. As Ghanaians we will be able to fund our own activities and development when we put in place proper collection of revenue at the ports and other revenue collection points in the country.
At times it is difficult to point a finger at one person. Even though we all have a role to play to see this country developed. However, those at various positions to ensure the proper management of our revenue collection must held responsibly when things go wrong.
But we are all to be blamed. Each one of us can mention one or two malfeasance going on in our society or about the activities at the ports. But we kept quite to see this goes on.
Most importantly, if those at the inspecting agencies and the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) exercise due diligence to arrest these malpractices, our country Ghana will definitely see a great improvement in the revenue generation to the state. Once this is done, the rest will automatically be regularized.
OFFICERS MUST BE VIGILANT
Do our revenue collecting agencies actually doing their work to the point they will help Ghana reach the state of BETTER AGENDA we are all seeking to achieve?
We will urge our revenue and inspection agencies to do due diligent work for this country and also try as much as possible to carefully study every invoice that are submitted to their various offices. There has been perception that under invoicing of imports is very increasing in the country and no one seems to care.