WCO, GRA to fight corruption through collective action


The World Customs Organisation (WCO), in collaboration with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Basel Institute on Governance, has held its annual Ghana Collective Action Event.

Under the theme ‘Fighting corruption and promoting integrity through collective action’, the event sought to address corruption as it can destroy the legitimacy of a Customs administration and severely limit its capacity to effectively accomplish its missions. It also aims at strengthening the internal control mechanisms, and improving public perception and confidence in Ghana Revenue Authority Customs operations and administration in the country.

In an interview with B&FT, deputy Commissioner of operations-Ghana Revenue Authority, Baffour Yaw Anane Asare, stated that if corruption is not eliminated from the revenue agencies it will hinder growth and success of the country at large; therefore, it is important that attention is shifted to such areas.

“Our rules in mobilising revenue for development are very important, but we know that lack of integrity or corruption is very detrimental to the success of these rules. If there is corruption in the revenue collection agencies, it means there are drains from how much you can get to develop the country; so it’s very imperative that we are able to fight corruption and have very high standards of integrity,” he said.

Mr. Anane Asare added that if corruption issues are tackled in these agencies, trade facilitation will be high, protection of security will be very high – which is even more paramount because if counterfeits, fake products and drugs are allowed in the country without checks, they can be very harmful to the health of Ghanaians. This points to the fact that apart from the revenue aspects, there are protection and security issues which also need attention; so a Customs administration without a high level of integration is actually harmful to the nation’s development and health.

On her part, a Collective Action Specialist of the Basel Institute on Governance, Scarlet Wannenwetsch, also noted the negative impact of corruption affects the rate of investments that comes into the country – as investors always undertake background checks before moving into a specific country to do business in order not to run at a loss.

“We definitely see from the multinational organisations we work with that there is an assessment of whether it makes sense to invest or not, or maybe not yet; and so I think the risk of corruption is a key consideration for companies when they decide where they want to invest.”

Ms. Wannenwetsch added that she has been encouraged to notice that there is talk of having a reporting mechanism in Customs that is more focused on the private sector, therefore it will go a long way to boost the sector.

Leave a Reply