The Commissioner of the Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Col Kwadwo Damoah (Retd), has advised junior officers to be mindful of the existing laws in every step they take.
He said being mindful of the law would allow them to be cautious, guided by the principles of integrity, fairness, professionalism and service.
He was speaking at a passing out parade for 201 junior officers who received Basic Paramilitary and Customs training at the Ghana Revenue Authority Academy at Kpetoe in the Volta Region last Friday.
Col Damoah, who was the Reviewing Officer, cautioned officers not to drag the name of the authority into disrepute by abusing the trust the state had in them and not think that wearing the uniform puts them above the law; rather they should uphold and project its good image.
"Accountability is very important. In all your actions and inaction, bear in mind that you could be accountable. You need to ensure the safety of citizens and protect them without any hindrance. The fact that you have the right to use arms does not give you the right to misconduct yourself. Under no circumstance must you use your weapon unless you are authorised to use it when it so demands", he cautioned.
He said the country needed more Custom officers to make use of the resources available to enable them to collect revenue for the state in the form of taxes and duties.
He also said that the government had invested so much in the officers, hence they must play a pivotal role to ensure the success of national economic planning, development and growth.
"You must not lose sight of the fact that you are part of the National Security architecture, thus the provision of various social infrastructural facilities in the country would depend partly on how much tax revenue is collected by you and others", he added.
He advised the officers to take advantage of their experience to learn on the job and put to good use the training and practical attachments that they acquired.
He encouraged them to be respectful to supervisors and stakeholders.
He called on the officers to continue to learn and acquire knowledge on the job because "it will help you throughout your career life in Customs".
The Assistant Commissioner and Commandant of the GRA Academy, Mr. Junior Appiah Warden, asked the officers to manage risks and avoid temptations that could jeopardise their integrity.
He cautioned them not to act contrary to GRA's aims and objectives and particularly "your actions should further give essence to the fact that your training has not been a waste of time and resources".