Government has signed a revenue-mobilisation support deal with an international firm as it struggles to meet revenue targets for the first eight months of this year.
Latest statistics from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) indicates that the total collection was down by almost GH¢2 billion as against the target of a little over GH¢24 billion cedis.
Speaking at an engagement in Accra, the Commissioner-General of the GRA, Emmanuel Kofi Nti, attributed the shortfall to the customs division operations.
“At the customs area, we were negative 18.4% from the target of GH¢1.7 billion...The main area in the short collections in the target for the customs has been in the import duty lines for 2018 and we realized that the levels of the importation have gone than the number of ships which were docking at the ports have gone down and also in the nature of the reports we are investigating that the numbers reporting for zero per cent, exempt and 5% has increased substantially and so we want to look at that; we are investigating that seriously,” he said.
The GRA says it has settled on McKenzie Group, the international consulting firm, to improve its operations. According to the Commissioner-General, this is part of some initiatives the authority seeks to embark upon for the next two years.
According to him, the McKenzie Group will help in the improvement of the authority’s operations with regards to revenue mobilization.
Mr. Nti said, “Essentially, the group is here to help put in place the three pillars in the initiative: help change GRA’s systems to be comparable to the best in revenue administration in the world through simplifying our processes and introducing innovation, investing heavily in training our staff to build their skills and helping build a mindset of constant improvement through sourcing for ideas to change and improve GRA; the group is here to improve upon professionalism and the change management process in GRA.”
The GRA boss has, however, assured that the firm only seeks to complement the work of the GRA and not taking over its operations.
The authority says it is doing more to expand collections to the informal sector. According to Mr. Nti, GRA seeks to leverage on NABCO’s revenue model to access about 8,000 young people to help with revenue collection.
With regards to Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), the GRA says currently, more than 110,000 people have registered.
The authority says it is doing more to improve tax compliance, as such; it would apply severe sanctions.
“We are ready to bite, in the coming days, GRA machinery would be at work,” Mr. Nti said.