Former Director-General and Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Prof Stephen Adei has been sworn in as the new Chair of the Board of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
Also sworn at a ceremony on Friday by the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta was Eugene Asante Ofosuhene as a Board Member.
The Ministry has also accepted the retirement notification of Kofi Nti, the current Commissioner-General, which takes effect on October 1, 2019.
Mr. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, Commissioner for Domestic Tax Revenue Division (DTRD), will become the acting Commissioner-General also responsible for DTRD.
“Government is aiming to raise ¢45.2bn in domestic revenues as the 2019 target even though GRA is 7.3% behind target as at the end of July,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.
He added that “although the country’s tax revenues have grown consistently over the last few years, Ghana’s tax-to-GDP ratio at 17.6% is still well below the middle-income country average for Africa.”
The GRA’s efficiency in tax collection has become even more crucial for achieving sustainable revenue targets that reflect Ghana’s developmental agenda. The contribution of the two new Members of the Board is essential to ensuring the achievement of GRA’s objective of revenue mobilisation in an era of Ghana Beyond Aid.
Ken Ofori-Atta told the new Board Members of government’s faith in their ability to contribute towards the elimination of revenue administration inefficiencies, undue external influences, unassigned ‘security personnel’ and corruption. The Minister stressed that they bring renewed hope and that he has strong trust in their high moral standing and patriotism.
Prof. Adei is an accomplished change agent and fearless patriot, while Mr Ofosuhene, a former Controller & Accountant-General, is a disciplined professional. Both are men of unquestioned integrity.
He called on the citizenry to fulfil their civic responsibilities to pay their taxes. He also mentioned the new partnership between Faith-Based Organisations and Government to encourage their congregations to “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s” and promote new responsiveness for all citizens to protect the public purse.
“GRA is well-positioned to lead Ghana’s aspiration to use digital technologies to improve the citizen experience, broaden the tax base and to particularly capitalise on the widespread penetration of mobile phones in the economy”, said the Finance Minister.
The two new Board Members bring on board a critical knowledge and wisdom acquired through their rich experiences, which the Minister believes will be required to confront the challenges to raising the targeted revenue to support government’s programmes and activities.
Minister Ofori-Atta charged the two new board members to help GRA build a strong reputation for discipline, integrity and righteousness, be a meritocratic organisation that is known for high performance, have digitised internal processes in Custom and Domestic taxes that improve responsiveness to the public and fully implement digital systems that enable citizens access to tax services anytime and anywhere
In response, the new Chairperson for the Board, Professor Adei, said “I have an absolute zero-tolerance for corruption, and as captains of the ship, we must be seen not to do wrong”.
On his part, Mr. Ofosuhene stressed that “the era of using GRA for personal interest is over”.
The Minister thanked Mr Kofi Nti for his meritorious service and commended him for his diligence in establishing a platform for a new and transformed GRA.