Customs, Port officials to declare assets

President John Atta Mills

President John Evans Atta Mills on Friday directed that people aspiring to join the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority be made to declare their assets.

He also asked the Judiciary to hold officers in the Service as well as state institutions accountable for their stewardship to arrest the massive revenue leakage in the system.

Angered by the nefarious activities of customs and port officials at the nation’s entry points, President Mills cautioned the officials Government would not spare the rod on corrupt officials.

He said if people thought it was only the politicians who were corrupt, the evidence was now clear for all to see that other office holders in state institutions were equally as corrupt as some politicians.

President Mills gave the stern warning when he made an unannounced visit to the Tema Port to share some thoughts with officials and workers following the exposure of massive corruption by investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas.

The investigative footage, titled “Enemies of the Nation,” revealed cases of collusion with auctioneers, bribery of customs officials, and a rift between the Ghana Customs Division and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority over revenue collection.

There was also evidence of how some CEPS officials engaged in illicit sexual acts with some businesswomen with the promise of securing them goods and contracts to work within the Tema area.

President Mills expressed worry at the canker at the Ports, and urged the law enforcement agencies not to relax the punishment meted out to corrupt CEPS officials.

He said those found to have engaged in acts that sabotaged the nation must be made to face the stipulated penalties to deter others from joining the corruption train.

Such corrupt activities, the President said, would in no way help in the national development cause as state funds illegally went rather into private and individual pockets.

He also blamed the ancillary of the Customs Service, and called on the public to report any officials engaged in the illegal acts.

President Mills reminded the port workers that they were not building a good reputation for themselves when on each occasion, he did not meet them with smiles of commendation but to complain of bad deeds.

He had made a similar visit to the Port last year and complained of the revenue leakage through underhand dealings.

President Mills however commended the honest ones among them, and pledged his support for the new CEPS Boss.

He appealed to the public to report any ports officials and members of the public whose activities at the port did not help the national cause, in order to help eradicate the canker.

Source: GNA

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