COVID-19 and Burkina coup affecting revenue mobilization in Hamile – Customs
Mr Gabriel Anokye, Senior Revenue Officer of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has bemoaned the dwindling revenue mobilization at the Hamile border due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the coup d’état in neighbouring Burkina-Faso.
He said though the COVID-19 pandemic led to the closure of the country’s borders, which affected revenue mobilisation, the recent coup in Burkina Faso had worsened the situation, making it difficult to meet their targets.
Mr Anokye told the GNA in an interview at Hamile that before the outbreak of COVID-19, about 1,200 long vehicles with goods used to pass through the border monthly but that have reduced to between 700 and 800 and further declined recently due to the coup d’etat in Burkina Faso.
“Burkina Faso doesn’t have seaport and they rely on the Tema Port for imports, which we also generate a lot of revenue from. We sometimes get as much as GH¢12,000 from one vehicle depending on the goods in it”, he explained.
“Again, because the borders are closed, the Ghanaian and Burkinabe traders are no longer transacting businesses as it were, which obviously has affected revenue mobilisation. The coup d’état has also worsened the situation”, he said.
He said though there had not been an influx of Burkinabe nationals into the country due to the coup d’état, they were highly alert for any unforeseen circumstances.
He said security was tight at the border with businesses going on normally and expressed the hope that the situation would normalise to improve revenue mobilisation.
He cautioned the public against using unapproved routes to cross the border and that the law would deal with them if they do so.
There was calm at the border when the GNA arrived there with long vehicles in queues to either enter or leave the country.