The new board members of the Ghana Revenue Authority after their swearing-in
The new board members of the Ghana Revenue Authority after their swearing-in
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New GRA board charged to help reduce tax non-compliance, block leakages

The re-constituted nine-member board of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has been charged to work closely with relevant institutions and stakeholders to reduce tax non-compliance and block revenue leakages.

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It has also been advised to prioritise necessary improvements and additions to GRA’s physical infrastructure; augment ongoing efforts aimed at fully implementing the Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS), build the capacity of officers and improve the quality of data analysis for informed decision-making.

Board

The nine-member board of the authority is chaired by former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Joe Ghartey, who is also a former Minister of Railway Development. Other members include a Deputy Minister of Finance, Dr Alex Ampaabeng, the Commissioner-General of GRA, Julie Essiam, a Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Michael Okyere Baafi, and the Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Elsie Addo Awadzi.

The rest are immediate Past Municipal Chief Executive of Asante Akyim Central, Susan Akomea; a Public Administration expert with international experience, Araba Bosomtwe, and a fellow of the Ghana College of Pharmacists and board member of ADB Bank, Kwabena Abankwah Yeboah.

The ninth member was not available at the time of the swearing-in.

Stakeholder engagements

The Minister of Finance, Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, who inaugurated the board, said the revenue-generating institution needed to achieve its medium-term revenue targets of 18 and 20 per cent tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio as well as meet all indicative targets and structural benchmarks related to revenue under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.

Dr Amin Adam, who is also the Member of Parliament for Karaga, indicated that by working closely with other relevant stakeholders, the new board could effectively address the issues of alleged harassment of business owners, employ a digitalisation drive to streamline tax administration and reduce the heavy dependence on “human interventions.''

These and other measures, he said, could help build the confidence Ghanaians had in the GRA which would ultimately rake in the needed revenue for development. “Over the next few days, I will be holding stakeholder meetings with institutions involved with GRA to address issues of alleged harassment of businesses and discuss how we can work to improve the business climate for investors to feel confident about investing and doing business in Ghana,” Dr Amin Adam disclosed.

Assurance

Dr Amin Adam assured the board of his unflinching support and commitment to lead the staff to drive the GRA to new heights. “We must leave this inauguration with a dedicated resolve to change the narrative and eclipse a 20 per cent threshold of revenue to GDP within the shortest possible time,” the economist added.

The Finance Minister also commended the previous board for effective revenue mobilisation, stating that, “by the numbers, the authority has consistently met its revenue targets and I believe strong leadership and dedicated staff have been pivotal in these achievements.”

Opportunity to serve

Speaking on behalf of the board, Mr Ghartey said it was a unique opportunity to serve the nation and that the performance of the GRA was crucial, particularly at this point in the country's history.

“The balance is to increase the revenue and at the same time remain business-friendly and improve the ease of doing business in Ghana, so we thank the President for his confidence in us and assure him of our commitment to bring the needed positive changes at GRA,’’ he stated.

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