The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has bemoaned the continuous presence of personnel from the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) at its members’ offices.
It lamented that about three or four EOCO officials frequent offices of AGI members at any given time and usually request the same documents – financial statements and sales records among others, which the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) usually reviews. Apart from requesting the same information as GRA, the AGI said it makes business transactions unfriendly.
Chairman for Ashanti, Bono and Bono East Regions, Kwasi Nyamekye – who revealed this to the B&FT, said he finds it strange that personnel from the economic crime fighter continue to harass AGI members over the same documents made available to the GRA.
“EOCO basically requests almost the same information as GRA, which in my view is not well understood. Are they doing the same work as GRA? Why can’t they request the information from GRA since it is a public document? They hardly tell you why, even after their assessment; there’s no tangible reason other than ‘we have been ordered to carry out checks’. They request for financials, bank statements, and record of sales among others,” he said.
Narrating further, Mr. Nyamekye said: “Their posture is normal, except that one will have to frequent their office after the visit many times – submitting one document or another. If they are seeking some information and/or doing some monitoring, why not? But coming to do the same things as GRA, requesting the same information etc., is problematic”.
He added that members of AGI, particularly under his area of oversight, have had to endure this kind of situation for the past two to three years.
For Mr. Nyamekye, it would be better and more reasonable for EOCO officials to request the information from GRA rather than frequenting the offices of AGI members.
He added that businesses are already going through serious challenges, and asking them to do regular follow ups at the EOCO office is taking a toll on production. Mr. Nyamekye urged the EOCO and GRA to work closely together on addressing the situation.