Government has denied claims making the rounds that the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) has increased import duties, indicating investigations into the false claims have commenced.
Deputy Chief of Staff, Johnny Osei Kofi, who debunked the claim Saturday, consequently asked Ghanaians, particularly importers, to disregard such information, which he said is intended to make the government unpopular. “We’re still investigating but it is good to put it out there so that people who over the last week or so, have had their duties upgraded so to speak can go and verify,” he said while addressing students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
According to him, he received information last Wednesday that the Customs Commission met some customs officers and instructed them to increase the country’s import duties. But Mr Osei Kofi described the said increment as palpable lies and an orchestration to make the government unpopular as the elections draw closer. He said his checks from the Commissioner of the Ghana Revenue Authority revealed no such decision has been taken, and that those involved are only extorting money from importers under the pretext of regulation. “But it is significant to note that I also called the Customs Commissioner and then he said honourable but you know these things we cannot do it, it has to come from Parliament so if there is any such information then it didn’t come from me,” Mr Osei Kofi said . Mr Osei Kofi who is contesting for the Oforikrom Member of Parliament under the ticket of the National Democratic Congress in this year’s December 7 elections, said the information have been forwarded to the appropriate security agencies to establish those behind the supposed increment. He said no arrest has been made yet. He explained he had to put the information out there in order to “to safeguard the public” for them to know that “if there are increases, then it is coming from some other place” and the GRA.