The Board Chairman of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Prof. Stephen Adei has made another radical move by instructing Customs Officers at the Port of Tema not to take instructions from senior officers of other state agencies operating at the port.
In a memo signed on October 30, 2019, from Joseph Adu-Kyei, the Acting Sector Commander to all Terminal Heads and Examination officers, he warned that all forms of “Order from Above” should be ignored and immediately reported. This memo was drafted under the instruction of the rampaging new GRA Chairman.
“Management…admonish and re-echo the official instruction by the Chairman…on 15th October 2019…All schedule officers are strictly required not to take instructions from any Superior Officer of other State Agencies in the clearing of goods at the Tema Port. All such instructions in the form of “Order from Above” should be ignored and immediately reported to the Sector Commander-Customs Division to the Board Chairman,” reads the memo.
The memo is practically a direct order to the officers to disobey their superiors if they are being forced to do wrong. “Officers are to ignore only when that instruction is to influence them to do do the wrong thing,” the memo stated.
Whatsup News can report that this instruction has put the officers at a collision course with presidential staffers at the Jubilee House who have been fingered in ordering customs officers to waive inspection and taxes on certain goods imported under their instruction.
In September this year, Hajia Fati, a vociferous member of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) raised alarm about how the Chief Of Staff Frema Opare was leading a “family and friends” cartel in skimming off mouth-watering deals imported vehicles meant for auction.
The Auditor-General recently issued a report that showed that the underhand dealings in the auction car racket at the Tema port alone had cost the state a whopping GHC 25.5 million in waived revenues from 2015 till date.
The amount is computed on about 2000 vehicles allegedly sold through auctions but revenues from them have simply disappeared into thin air from the GRA.
Whatsup News has gathered that stealing of cars from importers under the guise of auctioning is a thriving business at the ports for government and political party officials of successive ruling governments. Port operators tell how notes are issued from government offices for party supporters to pick their choices from vehicles allegedly marked for auction. A frustrated Auditor-General, Yao Domelevo lamented: “It is mind-boggling that audit reports come year after year, citing people for causing financial loss to the state but they are still in their offices and move about in their nice cars and sleep in better houses. Nothing happens to them; not even administrative sanctions. There is the need for deterrence in the system because for any public financial management system in any part of the world to work well, there must be strong sanctions. People do businesses in this country and do not want to pay taxes and we tolerate it so they perpetuate it.”