For the first time in seven years, the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has not only met its revenue target, but exceeded it by GH¢7,699,241.
The division was able to collect GH¢480,259,241.64 for the year ending December 2015. Its target for the year was GH¢472,560,000.
The last time the division met its target was in 2008 and since then, it has consistently fallen short of its target until 2015.
An Assistant Commissioner of the GRA in charge of the KIA Customs Division, Mr Isaac Desmond Abbey, expressed the belief that the achievements was as a result of the dedication, support and commitment of the officers and men, coupled with well-thought-out policies being implemented by the GRA.
“All these catapulted us into this realm of achievements,” he said, adding that in 2014, the authority introduced compliance measures where everything was done electronically to monitor the performance of staff and put them on track if they were lagging behind.
That, he said, helped the staff to work hard, and to remain focused and it was not surprising that the division was able to exceed its target for the first time in seven years.
He said the division had “a very strong” management team and staff who were committed to executing the job and commended them for their overwhelming desire to collect revenue for national development.
Mr Abbey gave an assurance that they would work harder to sustain the momentum and even exceed their current performance.
Mr Abbey said the division was not only being guided by its internal mechanisms, but by the rules and regulations of the Customs Act 2015, Act 791.
In addition, he said the GRA had also motivated the officers to put in their best in the collection exercise, adding that the officers were made to see the concerns of their clients as utmost.
Mr Abbey said the payment of revenue should be seen by everybody as a civic responsibility and the understanding of that helped in the success story being told.
He said even though the target for 2016 was not out yet, “We promise, with the help of God, not to rest on our oars but to work even harder.”
“We have been gingered and poised to work not only to sustain the momentum, but to keep on improving on what we have achieved.
“For our customers, we are assuring them of better and much more improved services this year. We have an information desk and we will encourage them to channel any grievances through it. But we assure them of quality service this year,” he assured clients of the division.
Mr Abbey said the doors of the division were open for discussions, especially for those who did not understand its operations, “because we believe in dialogue”.
He identified inadequate staffing as a major challenge facing the division and said when more officers were put out there, more revenue would be mobilised.
Mr Abbey also said officers at some strategic places needed more logistics, which he described as critical, citing the need for modern scanners because the current ones were not “user friendly”.