Colonel Kwadwo Damoah (Retired), Commissioner, Customs Division, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), has said the Division is upbeat and poised to increase its revenue targets from GH¢10.9 billion in 2020 to GH¢17 billion for 2021.
He said in 2020, the Customs Division exceeded its GH¢10.9 billion target and raked in over GH¢12billion in excess of GH¢1.6 billion.
According to him, in 2021, Customs was expected to collect close to about GH¢17 billion, and now even though they were lagging behind around seven per cent, they were growing beyond 30 per cent nominally against last year’s performance.
Col. Damoah, who was addressing the media at the Tema Port during a working visit, said: “Actually, it was a revised target and because COVID-19 came in with various restrictions in place, realistically it wasn’t going to be possible for us to achieve the original target”.
He said: “even though at a time when we were starting the new Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) at the port, which came with some initial challenges with its implementation, we were still able to achieve our targets and even exceeded it, which is rather commendable.
“We are in the last quarter of the year, and that’s when more imports are expected,” he stated, and expressed optimism that the set targets would be met.
He admitted it requires vigilance, efficiency, professionalism and application of skills and expertise to defy the odds and achieve even greater feats.
According to the Commissioner, Tema alone collected around 80 per cent of the total Customs collection throughout the country, and said, “if the sector was performing well, Customs would certainly perform remarkably with a rise in revenue collection”.
He added between January and September 2021, it was behind about 5.8 per cent, a little over GHC580 million in real figures, but was quick to state that measures have been put in place to reach the projected target at the close of the year.
“If we manage to collect GH¢1.3 billion in Tema each month for the last three months of the year, we will certainly exceed our target,” he stated.
Col. Damaoh noted that with officers and the leadership always ready for the task ahead, coupled with efficiency, effectiveness, vigilance and professionalism, the Division was likely to attain its targets, and therefore appealed to the officers to work even harder and not relent on their efforts.
Assistant Commissioner Julius Aweya Kantum, Tema Sector Commander, Customs Division of GRA, commended the officers at the ports for their dedication and diligence to duty, and appealed to them to renew their commitment in order to help achieve the targets set out by government in terms of revenue collection.
The visit afforded Col. Damoah the opportunity to interact with Customs Officials at the Golden Jubilee Terminal and the Meridian Port Service Terminal Three to understand, at first hand, their operational challenges.