Sierra Leone Revenue Authority visits GRA to tap knowledge

Sierra Leone Revenue Authority visits GRA to tap knowledge

A seven-member delegation from the Sierra Leonean National Revenue Authority (NRA) has visited the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to acquaint themselves with revenue mobilisation and technological processes deployed for effective tax collection by the Ghanaian tax authority.

A Senior Director of ICT, Gerald H.P Ganda, who led the delegation, addressing newsmen in Accra, said authorities in Sierra Leone have noticed that the GRA has made enormous progress in revenue mobilisation in the sub-region, where the authority has moved from the legacy systems to a more robust system in the process of automation.

“We are moving from a manual system to an automated system, and the NRA will not want to make certain mistakes that will hamper our efforts, hence, the need to come to Ghana to learn the processes of automation in order to quickly leapfrog some of those situations,” Mr. Ganda said.

Ghana and Sierra Leone, he said, have similar tax administration system and that calls for the need to emulate what the GRA is doing right.

“Last year, the revenue to GDP ratio was 16 percent in Ghana. The NRA is hoping to achieve same this year, while we concentrate on achieving 20 percent GDP to revenue in 2023. We want to quickly get the methods and procedures right from the GRA and grow quickly,” he added.

Director of Finance at the NRA, Mr. Ibrahim Kormoh, said the solutions to challenges in Ghana’s tax administration are similar to the solutions Sierra Leone’s needs.

“We’ve come to find that our problems are similar, with similar solutions. The GRA’s structures are similar in domestic tax and customs but we have a lot of work to do to be at par,” he said.

The delegation said the use of Ghanaian technology and local content by the GRA has been astounding, an idea they hope to replicate on their return.

“Through this visit, we have discovered that we need to train our people to be in charge of the solution and not relying entirely on other countries for assistance,” Mr. Kormoh added.

Commissioner General of the GRA, Dr. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, said the visit by the NRA adds to a tall list of countries which want to know what Ghana is doing right, particularly in the sub-region.

“It shows we are doing something right, though we are still improving. GRA is always motivated by these visits to further refine its tax mobilisation processes to be the best on the continent. Automation has been the game changer for the GRA and we are even poised to make the system more friendly and accessible to all taxpayers. We have been successful in making our tax system cashless through technology, and these things excite the NRA,” Dr. Owusu-Amoah said.

Other members of the delegation include Edwin Conteh, Deputy Director, Finance and Budgets – NRA; Edward Siaffa, Deputy Commissioner – Domestic Tax of NRA; James Tengbeh, Project Manager, Electronic Cash Register – NRA; Samuel James Fullah, Project Manager, Integrated Tax Administration System – NRA; and Joegay Joshuah Conteh, Consultant to the NRA.

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