Customs revenue performance not unfavourable

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The attention of Management of the Ghana Revenue Authority has been drawn to media reports that appear to indicate that the Tema Collection of the Customs Division failed to meet its revenue target by 45% due to the deployment of the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) at the Terna port. This assertion is completely misleading and does not represent the facts on the ground.

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) would like to put it on record that:

The Customs Division on the average collects GH¢942 million monthly. The average three months run rate for Tema Collection for 2020 is GH¢574.8 million. This figure compares with the June performance of Tema Collection of GH¢554 million and does not show any significant difference in collection. The performance also clearly refutes the claim that the deployment of ICUMS at the ports in June 2020 has resulted in revenue shortfalls for the month of June.

The revenue figures and the conclusions drawn from these figures by sections of the media are based on ‘Stretched targets’ that are provided to all offices, including the Tema Collection, to motivate staff to perform optimally. ‘Stretched targets’ are targets that go slightly beyond the budget figures and encourage staff to achieve more. It is therefore misleading to compare actual performance with the ‘Stretched Targets’ and not actual budget figures to draw conclusions when GRA’s performance is assessed based on the actual budget figure.

The Tema Collection accounts for over 70% of the total revenue target for the Customs Division. This translates into a ‘Stretched target’ of GH¢ 1.3 billion for the Collection for 2020. This figure is distributed on monthly basis using the previous year’s performance subject to prevailing economic measures. Month on month performance for the first half of the year for Tema Collection has followed the national trend in revenue collection.

 

For instance, in April, the Tema Collection had a target of GH¢779.44 million and collected GH¢483.16million, a variance of 38.01% whilst in June, the target was GH¢1,006.88 million, and GH¢553,57million was realised, a variance of 45.02%. This however was not the first time within the year that a variance of about GH¢400 million has been recorded. In March 2020, the variance was also about GH¢ 400 million. The fact that the ‘stretched target’ was not achieved does not in any way point to the deployment of ICUMS as a factor in the Terna June 2020 revenue collection.

 

The overall Customs performance for the half year was below target as mentioned by the Minister of Finance in the mid-year Budget. This performance could be attributed primarily to the closure of the country’s borders from 27th March 2020, and restrictions placed on the movement of persons resulting in a slowdown in port related activities, owing to the uncertainties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, this trend in revenues from our ports is a reflection of the worldwide trend of a decline in cargo movements owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and Ghana is not an exception.

 

GRA will not lose focus of its core mandate of mobilizing revenue for national development, especially in these times. We also remain committed to constantly monitoring revenue performance at the ports whilst making efforts to resolve all the initial challenges in the deployment of ICUMS at our ports.

 

Even though the mid-year revenue target was missed owing to prevailing economic circumstances, pragmatic initiatives are being put in place to attain, if not exceed the annual target by close of the year.

 

For: COMMISSIONER-GENERAL

FLORENCE ASANTE (MRS)

ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER

COMMUNICATION & PUBLIC AFFAIRS

 

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